Why do children die? Circumstances of child deaths in Mali and Uganda (9) Facility-based childbirth

13 June, 2018

"I just wondered if you or Sue, could clarify for me the stats that "80% of infants are born in a Facility". Is that a clinical setting?"

Thanks for you question. Judy refers to Sue Prullage's message where she says: "80% of all deliveries are now reported to be in a facility"

I look forward to hear from Sue and others and in the meantime I have done a quick Google search. I have not been able to find a global figure, but the following website provides estimates by country, defining facility-based deliveries as 'live births that take place in a public or private health facility'. (Note this definition does not define what is a 'health facility' - in theory this could be anything from a primary healthcare post without trained staff, running water or electricity through to a national level urban hospital; also, it records only live births.)


With the above tool, it is possible to display groups of countries such as "Sub-Saharan Africa" or "Low income countries".

The latter indicates, for example, that the percentage of facility-based deliveries in LICs ranges from 9% in Somalia to 91% in Rwanda.

The tool does not show figures in aggregate, eg percentage of facility-based deliveries worldwide, although a glance at the graph showing all countries would be consistent with around 80% of all deliveries worldwide.

There are huge variations, both between and within countries, and, as mentioned, the data don't tell us anything about the type of facility, let alone about the quality of care.

Best wishes, Neil

Joint Coordinator, CHIFA Project on Newborn Care


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CHIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is the coordinator of the HIFA campaign (Healthcare Information For All) and assistant moderator of the CHIFA forum. He is current chair of the Dgroups Foundation (www.dgroups.info), which supports 700 communities of practice for international development, social justice and global health. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org