The lottery of birth
The lottery of birth

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The lottery of birth

2.1.2 Maternal and infant mortality

The World Health Organization has produced two interactive maps illustrating maternal mortality (deaths per 100,000 live births) and infant mortality (probability of dying between birth and age 1 per 1000 live births) rates around the world.

Activity 2.1

Use the data from the World Health Organization’s interactive maps to answer the following questions. You’ll be asked to find data from the maps so make sure you have both maps open in other browser tabs.

Open each map in a new tab and explore the data.

  • Maternal health map [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]  – explore the data using the tabs ‘View by years’ and ‘Filter by WHO region’.
  • Child mortality map – select ‘Infant’ and a date rather than ‘Child’ mortality under ‘View more indicators’.

Now answer these questions.

1. This question uses the Maternal health map. Use the ‘Filter by WHO region’ options.

Which of the countries in Africa had the highest maternal mortality in 2015?

a. 

Sierra Leone


b. 

Liberia


c. 

Chad


d. 

Guinea


The correct answer is a.

a. 

Correct! It was Sierra Leone with an estimated 1360 deaths per 100,000 live births.


2. This question uses the Maternal health map. Use the ‘Filter by WHO region’ option.

Which country had the higest maternal mortality rate in the Western Pacific region in 2015 and which had the lowest?

a. 

Philippines and New Zealand


b. 

Cambodia and Australia


c. 

Papua New Guinea and China


d. 

Papua New Guinea and Japan


The correct answer is d.

d. 

Yes, Papua New Guinea had the higest mortality with 215 in 100,000 live births while Japan had the lowest mortality with 5 in 100,000 live births.


3. This question uses the Child mortality map. Select years under ‘Infant mortality rate’ rather than ‘Child mortality rate’ under ‘View more indicators’. (NB you may need to scroll down to find ‘2000’.)

The question focuses on the ‘BRIC’ countries, which are Brazil, Russia, India and China, and are the newly advanced economically developed countries predicted to overtake the current richest countries by 2015.

Which ‘BRIC’ country saw the greatest fall in infant mortality (probability of dying between birth and age 1 per 1000 live births) between 2000 and 2015?

For example, in Brazil, infant mortality fell by 48 % (it fell by from 28.1 to 14.6, and 13.5 is 48 % of 28.1). You can see the infant mortality rates for 2000 and 2015 by selecting the year and then hovering over each country.

a. 

Brazil


b. 

Russian Federation


c. 

India


d. 

China


The correct answer is d.

d. 

Correct! Infant mortality fell by 70 % from 30.2 to 9.2 – a very significant fall and the highest proportional fall in infant mortality among the BRICs.


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