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NZ 17th best for children's health care

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
NZ 17th best for children's health care

A major new index by Save the Children has ranked the best and worst countries for a child to fall sick in - with Chad and Somalia at the bottom and Switzerland and Finland at the top.

The new analysis shows that children living in the bottom 20 countries are five times more likely to die than those further up the index.

New Zealand is ranked 17th out of 161 countries in the world and is considered one of the best places for children to be able to receive the health care they need, should they fall sick.

The index is part of Save the Children's EVERY ONE campaign and has been released two weeks ahead of the crucial UN General Assembly in New York on September 20th when progress on global women and children's health must be assessed. It highlights countries such as Ethiopia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone where millions of children could die simply because of a lack of trained health workers.

Save the Children's EVERY ONE campaign aims to reduce child mortality by two-thirds and maternal mortality by three-quarters by 2015.

CEO of Save the Children New Zealand Liz Gibbs says that Save the Children wants world leaders to do more to ensure a health worker is in reach of very mother and child, wherever they are in the world.

"A child's survival should not depend on where he or she is born. For countries at the bottom of the index, two health workers for every thousand people means that their children are five times more likely to die," Ms Gibbs says

"This is not acceptable. No mother should have to watch helplessly as her child grows sick and dies, simply because there is no one trained to help."

Unlike New Zealand, Papua New Guinea (PNG) is ranked 13th from the bottom.

PNG is a Pacific neighbour where Save the Children New Zealand is actively providing support for the development and implementation of urgently needed health programmes. Already, we have trained 800 village health workers in PNG.

Recent health indicators suggest that maternal and infant mortality rates in PNG are among some of the worst in the Pacific. There is also a prevalence of malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/ AIDS, and other communicable diseases.

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