Madrid : Cuba – despite its image as a backward nation ruled by a despotic Communist regime – provides the best conditions for motherhood among developing countries, according to Save the Children’s State of the World’s Mothers 2010 report.
The report, made public Monday, examines 160 countries – 43 developed and 117 developing ones – and analyzes the best and worst places to be a mother based on 10 factors such as the educational status, health, economic circumstances of the mothers, as well as the basic well-being of children.
Among developed countries, Norway is in first place in the rankings, followed by Australia, Iceland and Sweden.
Within Latin America, Cuba is in first place on the list of best developing countries in which to be a mother, while Argentina is in third place, Uruguay in seventh and Costa Rica in 12th, followed by Chile, Colombia and Brazil.
In comparing countries, the report says that in Ethiopia medical assistance is provided at just six percent of births, while in Norway, there are plenty of qualified health personnel present at almost all births.
One out of every seven women dies during pregnancy or while giving birth in Niger, but in Greece and Italy the death rate is less than one in 26,000 and in Ireland it is just one in 47,000.
In Afghanistan, one of every four children dies before reaching the age of 5, while the comparable figure for Spain, France and Portugal is one of every 250.
Save the Children is issuing an urgent call to increase the number of healthcare workers in the world’s poorest nations, given that 343,000 women lose their lives because of complications during pregnancy or birth and almost nine million children die before their fifth birthdays in those countries.
In fact, 57 countries have a “critical shortage” of healthcare workers, 36 of those nations being in Africa, and every year 50 million women in developing countries give birth without the help of any health personnel.