The 16th annual State of the World’s Mothers report delves into a comparison of the health disparities between wealthy and poor women and children living in cities around the world. This report presents the latest and most extensive analysis to date of health disparities between rich and poor in cities. It finds that in most developing countries, the poorest urban children are at least twice as likely to die as the richest urban children. In some countries, they are 3 to 5 – or even more – times as likely to die.

The annual Mothers’ Index uses the latest data on women’s health, children’s health, educational attainment, economic well-being and female political participation to rank 179 countries and show where mothers and children fare best and where they face the greatest hardships.

• In the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, maternal and child mortality rates are about 50% higher than the national average.

• In Cambodia and Rwanda, children born into the poorest 20% of urban households are almost 5 times as likely to die by age 5 as children born into the richest 20 percent. Survival gaps have grown in Rwanda, but are closing in Cambodia.

• Health systems must be designed to reach the poor, ensuring access to health workers able to provide quality care in slums and informal settlements.

• Health systems must be designed to reach the poor, removing financial barriers to accessing quality health services.

• 10 worst countries to be a mother and a child are in the Sub-Saharan Africa • Somalia has the lowest score for well-being of mothers and children among all countries.


  • State Of World's Mothers 2015
    Size: 4.5 MB

Resource Information

Document Type: (PDF) Download
Countries: Global
Date of Publication: May 2015

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