The British aid group Save the Children ranks Somalia as the worst country on Earth for being a mother. The ranking is based on statistics for maternal health, child mortality, education and women’s income in Somalia. Nearly 25 years of instability has seen Somalia’s health institutions collapse but the government and international partners hope to soon change this narrative.
Fadumo Abdulkadir lost her child shortly before birth. She is among the millions of women in Somalia who remain at great risk during childbirth. In its latest report, “State of World Mothers,” the aid group Save The Children has ranked Somalia at the bottom among the countries surveyed. According to the United Nations Children’s Agency UNICEF, maternal mortality rates for Somalia are among the highest in the world. One out of every ten Somali children dies before seeing its first birthday.
Somalia’s Deputy Minister of Health, Osman Mohamed Abdi, said the government hopes to change the situation. “Somalia is among the worst countries in the world for a mother. But the Ministry of Health with support from international partners like UNFPA will work hard to ensure that help is delivered to Somali mothers at the regional, district and village level,” said Abdi.
It is believed that one out of every 12 women in Somalia dies due to pregnancy-related causes. Only nine percent of pregnant women in the country have access to skilled birth attendants. The UN says the world has a massive midwife shortage, and says this is particularly dangerous for countries in crisis. Recently, 23 new midwives graduated in Mogadishu at a ceremony that coincided with the International Day of the Midwife.