Niger is worst place to be mother: study

May 8, 2012

The African nation of Niger has ousted Afghanistan as the worst place in the world to be a mother, largely due to hunger, according to an annual report out Tuesday by Save the Children.

In contrast, Norway is the best according to the group's "Best and Worst Places to Be a Mom" ranking which compares 165 countries in terms of maternal health, education, economic status and children's health and nutrition.

The report, which this year focuses on nutrition particularly from the time a woman gets pregnant until the child is two, said that malnutrition is an underlying cause of 2.6 million worldwide each year.

"Millions more children survive, but suffer lifelong physical and cognitive impairments because they did not get the nutrients they needed early in their lives when their growing bodies and minds were most vulnerable," it said.

After Niger, the next worst countries were listed as Afghanistan -- which held the lowest spot for two years -- Yemen, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Eritrea, Chad, Sudan, South Sudan and the .

"Of the 10 countries at the bottom of Save the Children's annual index, seven are in the midst of a ," it said.

"Niger, in bottom place, is currently in the grip of a worsening hunger situation, threatening the lives of a million children."

The top countries after Norway were Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Australia, Belgium, Ireland, The Netherlands and Britain.

The United States ranked 25th, up from last year's 31st place but still below most .

"A woman in the US is more than seven times as likely to die of a pregnancy-related cause in her lifetime than a woman in Italy or Ireland," said Carolyn Miles, president and of Save the Children.

"When it comes to the number of children enrolled in preschools or the political status of women, the United States also places in the bottom 10 countries of the developed world."

Supporting mothers to breastfeed could save one million children's lives a year, according to the report which added that fewer than 40% of all infants in developing countries are exclusively breastfed.

The group urged the Group of Eight nations with the world's largest economies to deliver "bold commitments to tackle the global hidden crisis of chronic malnutrition," and called on all governments to make the fight against a priority.

Explore further: Malnutrition 'puts 450 million children at risk of stunting'

Related Stories

Malnutrition 'puts 450 million children at risk of stunting'

February 15, 2012
About 450 million children will be physically and mentally stunted over the next 15 years unless the world takes action to tackle malnutrition, a new report from Save the Children warned Wednesday.

Race to save mothers, children set to fall short

September 20, 2011
A global campaign to save new mothers and children under five in developing nations has made strong gains but is set to fall well shy of UN goals, according to a study released Tuesday.

Recommended for you

One in five patients report discrimination in health care

December 14, 2017
Almost one in five older patients with a chronic disease reported experiencing health care discrimination of one type or another in a large national survey that asked about their daily experiences of discrimination between ...

Your pets can't put your aging on 'paws'

December 14, 2017
(HealthDay)—In a finding that's sure to ruffle some fur and feathers, scientists report that having a pet doesn't fend off age-related declines in physical or mental health.

Searching for a link between achy joints and rainy weather in a flood of data, researchers come up dry

December 13, 2017
Rainy weather has long been blamed for achy joints. Unjustly so, according to new research from Harvard Medical School. The analysis, published Dec. 13 in BMJ, found no relationship between rainfall and joint or back pain.

Mistletoe and (a large) wine: Seven-fold increase in wine glass size over 300 years

December 13, 2017
Our Georgian and Victorian ancestors probably celebrated Christmas with more modest wine consumption than we do today - if the size of their wine glasses are anything to go by. Researchers at the University of Cambridge have ...

How well can digital assistants answer questions on sex?

December 13, 2017
Google laptop searches seem to be better at finding quality online sexual health advice than digital assistants on smartphones, find experts in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

Healthy eating linked to kids' happiness

December 13, 2017
Healthy eating is associated with better self-esteem and fewer emotional and peer problems, such as having fewer friends or being picked on or bullied, in children regardless of body weight, according to a study published ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.