A new report released by UNICEF indicates that teen pregnancies pose great risk to the health of the mother, with teens five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s.
This information was released today, as part of the U.N.’s annual children’s survey, which focused this year on the health of mothers. The results have grave implications for teens all over the world, but show an especially grim picture for women living in Africa. As a continent, Africa has the highest rate of maternal deaths, with women having a one in 26 lifetime chance of dying during pregnancy or childbirth. The risk is more than 300 times higher than in industrialized countries. Tragically, 80 percent of maternal deaths can be prevented with access to basic healthcare services.
Newborns also face serious risks. A child born in one of the least developed countries is 14 times more likely to die within the first month of life than one born in an industrialized country. The UNICEF report states that “the root cause may lie in women’s disadvantaged position in many countries and cultures and in the lack of attention to, and accountability for, women’s rights.”