10 January 2023

What you need to know about stillbirths

One stillbirth happens every 16 seconds. That’s about 2 million babies stillborn every year. What makes these deaths even more tragic is that the majority could have been prevented through quality care during pregnancy and at birth. Stillbirths are happening with alarming frequency in many countries. And while some progress has been made in…, Key facts about stillbirths, Since 2000, an estimated 53 million babies have been stillborn  Stillbirth is a huge burden globally, with 1 in 72 births ending in stillbirth Most stillbirths, about 8 in 10, occur in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia Over 40 per cent of stillbirths occur during labour The majority of stillbirths can be prevented through quality care during…, What is a stillbirth?, A stillbirth is defined as a baby born with no signs of life after a given threshold, usually related to the gestational age (period of time between conception and birth) or weight of the baby. As stillbirths are reported in different ways across countries, the UN stillbirth estimates in this article refer to “late gestation fetal deaths” as…, What are the main causes of stillbirths?, Commonly reported causes of stillbirth include complications during childbirth, haemorrhage before childbirth (including placental abruption), infections and maternal conditions, and pregnancy complications with fetal growth restriction as a common underlying cause. A mother’s health is also linked to causes of stillbirth. An estimated 10 per cent…, Why do so many women have stillbirths during labour?, Over 40 per cent of stillbirths occur during labour. Common causes of stillbirths that occur during labour are hypoxia (oxygen deprivation), placental obstruction and other delivery and labour related complications. Many of these can be avoided if key interventions, such as assisted vaginal delivery, skilled birth attendants or emergency C-…, Where do most stillbirths happen?, In 2021, about half of all stillbirths occurred in six countries: India, Pakistan, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and Bangladesh, in order of burden (highest to lowest).  On average, the risk of a stillbirth is more than seven times higher in low-income countries (21 stillbirths per 1,000 total births) than in high-income…, Why is there so much stigma around stillbirths?, In some cultures, stillbirths are perceived as the mother’s fault, resulting in public shaming or individual feelings of guilt or shame that prevent public mourning of their loss. The lack of opportunity to publicly grieve can cause stillbirths to be considered “non-events”. Such social taboos, stigmas and misconceptions often silence families or…, What are the psychological impacts of stillbirths on mothers and families?, Women and their partners who experience stillbirth have higher rates of depression, anxiety and other psychological symptoms that may be long lasting. For many women, losing their child and the subsequent care they receive will impact their approach to life and death, self-esteem and even their own identity. Many women who experience a stillbirth…, What needs to be done to reduce stillbirths?, Improved health systems and high-quality antenatal and delivery care are critical to ending preventable stillbirths. This means access to functional health facilities with adequate medicine and equipment, electricity, running water, soap and blankets, and the availability of round-the-clock referral systems every day of the week. Adequate numbers…, What is UNICEF doing to reduce stillbirths?, Every day UNICEF is working around the world to make affordable, quality health care a reality for every mother and baby. In 2019, there were more than 27 million safe births in UNICEF-supported health facilities. UNICEF and partners are calling for a renewed commitment to end preventable stillbirths by 2030 as outlined in the Every Newborn Action…
18 November 2020

The state of the world’s sanitation

The world is alarmingly off-track on delivering universal access to safe sanitation. For billions of people, toilets and sewage systems are still out of reach. Those living in poor and rural communities are at most risk of being left behind.   Over 700 children die every day from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water, sanitation, and poor hygiene. Over…, Kenya, sanitation in kenya: man walks across public latrines A man walks past public toilets in Kibera, the biggest informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya. The city's sewer infrastructure was originally designed to support 800,000 people; the population now exceeds 4 million. Some 80 per cent of households in the city do not have access to sewer lines.…, Indonesia, sanitation in indonesia: woman holding a child exiting a communal toilet Hanifah holds her 11-month-old daughter Dinda in a newly constructed toilet outside their home in Central Java province, Indonesia. Their home was inundated by tidal floods, so she and her family were unable to use their previous toilet for almost two years, which led them to…, Jordan, sanitation in jordan: a young girl in her family bathroom Ayat, 7, at home in Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan. UNICEF works to provide Syrian refugees in camps and hard to reach areas with access to safe water and sanitation facilities. sanitation in jordan: a boy with disabilities washing his hands in the bathroom Hamzah, 13, at home in Za’atari…, India,   sanitation in india: a girl walks out of a toilet on stilts by an inlet Eriam Sheikh, 7, comes out from a toilet on stilts built over an inlet passing by Rafiq Nagar in Mumbai. sanitation in india: a girl emerges from of a toilet Sonalika Dalabehera, 6, stands in the door of a latrine in Sutarajpur village, India. She was taught from an early…