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Ireland and Britain among countries with lowest stillbirth rate worldwide

At the Remembrance Tree in the Prayer room in CUMH Dr Keelin O'Donoghue and Daniel Nuzum from University College Cork, who participated in the study, at the Remembrance Tree in Cork University  Maternity Hospital. Picture: DKANE/Lancet
Dr Keelin O’Donoghue and Daniel Nuzum from University College Cork, who participated in the study, at the Remembrance Tree in Cork University Maternity Hospital. Picture: DKANE/Lancet

IRELAND and Britain are among the countries with the lowest rates of stillbirths worldwide. 

Both countries fall below the average of 3.5 stillbirths per 1,000 pregnancies across the 186 countries on the list.

Ranking in seventeenth place, Ireland came seven places ahead of Britain in the study, with a stillbirth rate of 2.7 per 1,000 – while Britain’s rate is 2.9.

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Researchers from University College Cork contributed to the research carried out by British medical magazine The Lancet.

Every year around the world more than 2.6million babies are stillborn.

UCC lecturer Dr. Keelin O’Donoghue said: “Of these 2.6 million stillbirths, 98 per cent occur in low and middle-income countries and almost half of all stillbirths happen during labour and birth.

“Efforts to prevent stillbirth need to form part of normal healthcare of women and babies.”

Stillbirths were measured from the 28th week of pregnancy, at which point the birth of a dead foetus is no longer considered a miscarriage.

What the report revealed

2.6 million stillbirths happen worldwide each year

The vast majority – 98 per cent – take place in low and middle income countries

Half of all stillbirths happen during labour and birth

Three quarters of all stillbirths take place in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

It will be 160 years before the gap between low and high income closes for stillbirths

Iceland has the lowest rate of stillbirths at 1.3 per 1,000

The highest rate is in Pakistan, at 43.1 per 1,000

The 10 countries with the highest rates

1. Pakistan (43.1)

2. Nigeria (42.9)

3. Chad (39.9)

4. Guinea-Bissau (36.7)

5. Niger (36.7)

6. Somalia (35.5)

7. Djibouti (34.6)

8. Central African Republic (34.4)

9. Togo (34.5)

10. Mali (32.5)

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James Mulhall
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James Mulhall is a reporter with The Irish Post. Follow him on Twitter @JamzMulhall

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