One stillbirth every 16 seconds and this could get worse due to COVID-19 pandemic

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Oct 08, 2020, 12:02 PM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Story highlights

Coronavirus pandemic has taken a huge toll on health services across the globe. Large resources in the healthcare sector have been re-allotted to tackle coronavirus. The report says that this may result in additional 200,000 stillbirths in 12-month period

A joint estimate has revealed that almost 2 million babies are stillborn every year. This comes to 1 stillborn baby every 16 seconds. The estimate has been made by Unicef, World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank Group and population division of United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. And now, there are fears that effects of coronavirus pandemic can worsen the situation.

“Losing a child at birth or during pregnancy is a devastating tragedy for a family, one that is often endured quietly, yet all too frequently, around the world,” Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director was quoted in a WHO release as saying.

“Every 16 seconds, a mother somewhere will suffer the unspeakable tragedy of stillbirth. Beyond the loss of life, the psychological and financial costs for women, families and societies are severe and long-lasting. For many of these mothers, it simply didn’t have to be this way. A majority of stillbirths could have been prevented with high-quality monitoring, proper antenatal care and a skilled birth attendant,” she adds.

According to a new report 'A Neglected Tragedy: The Global Burden of Stillbirths', 3 out of 4 stillbirths occurred in Africa or Southern Asia in 2019.

Coronavirus pandemic has taken a huge toll on health services across the globe. Large resources in the healthcare sector have been re-allotted to tackle coronavirus. The report says that this may result in additional 200,000 stillbirths in 12-month period. It is feared that these stillbirths would occur in 117 low and middle-income countries.

Women in low and middle-income countries were more susceptible as there was higher likelihood of them not getting good quality healthcare facilities at the time of the delivery.
 

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