The U.S. is the most dangerous place in the developed world to become a mother, says a Save the Children report. In the world’s richest country, the chance of dying in childbirth and levels of child mortality are not far removed from the third world.
Statistics from the Save the Children’s report shames the U.S. in its care of women and babies during childbirth and early childhood. The findings show that the U.S. is 61st in the world in terms of maternal health.
The under-fives mortality rate in the US is 6.9 per 1,000 live births, almost on a par with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovakia, says RT.
With regard to maternal deaths during childbirth, the U.S. figure was one in 1,800 lifetime risk compared to one in 19,800 in Poland and one in 45,000 in Belarus, says the Independent. An American mother is ten times more likely to die during childbirth than women in Belarus, Poland or Greece.
The US is strikingly absent from the list of the top 25 countries in the Mother’s index, as well.
17 New Zealand
24 United Kingdom
= 25 Belarus
= 25 Czech Republic
In that ranking, the U.S. came in at 33rd in the world.
With regards to infant mortality rates in the 25 richest capital cities in the world, the survey showed that Washington DC had the highest rate, at 6.6 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013. Other U.S. cities were even worse. Cleveland and Detroit reported infant mortality rates of 14.1 and 12.4 per 1,000 live births respectively in 2011.
The statistics also highlighted the terrible inequalities between rich and poor in the US, which were particular high among African-Americans. CNN cites the reports findings on Washington, which stated
“Babies in Ward 8, where over half of all children live in poverty, are about 10 times as likely as babies in Ward 3, the richest part of the city, to die before their first birthday.”
RT says that, “In San Francisco.. an African-American mother is six times as likely as a white mother to lose her baby before her child’s first birthday.”
These inequalities are also evident for women’s life expectancy in general. Asian American women, for example, outlive African American women by more than 14 years.