Maternal and Newborn Inequalities Among the Urban Poor

By 2050 an estimated 70 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas, and 90 percent of the increase in urbanization will be concentrated in Asia and Africa. Approximately 30 percent of deaths among children under five occur in urban areas. Lack of safe drinking water, poor management of waste and sewage, and poor quality or illegal housing create multiple public health challenges. In such settings, high burdens of adolescent pregnancy, unsafe abortions, and inequitable access to skilled attendance at delivery are detrimental to the health of mothers and newborns.

Ces enfants que le monde choisit d’ignorer

الأطفال الذين يختار
العالم نسيانهم


Save the Children’s 16th annual State of the World’s Mothers report evaluates the devastating health disparities between the rich and poor living in some of our major cities around the world, finding that while home to the wealthiest and healthiest people in a country, they are also home to some of the poorest and most marginalised families on earth. The report also assesses the well-being of mothers and children in 179 countries. The annual ranking of the best and worst place to be a mother has become an important tool to show where mothers and children fare best, and where they face the greatest hardships, using the latest data on health, education, economics and female political participation.


Save the Children’s 2015 State of the World’s Mothersreport provided a comprehensive overview of “the urban disadvantage.” Since then Save the Children has undertaken further research to understand the health challenges in urban areas.

Maternal and Newborn Inequalities Among the Urban Poor


On January 24, join the Wilson Center’s Maternal Health Initiative and Save the Children for a discussion of the findings of a new urban maternal and newborn health landscaping study completed by Save the Children in collaboration with Columbia University’s Averting Maternal Death and Disability program. The discussion will highlight issues emerging from Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, and elsewhere.


Lani Crane, Specialist, Health and Nutrition, Save the Children

Lynn Freedman, Director, Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program, Columbia University

Shannon McNab, ‎Associate Director, Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program, Columbia University


Robert Clay, Vice President, Health and Nutrition, Save the Children


Roger-Mark De Souza, Director, Population, Environmental Security, and Resilience, Wilson Center

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