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Impact of Climate Change on Maternal and Child Health

The #MaternalMonday Campaign of the Wellbeing Africa has canvassed the need to examine the impact of climate change on maternal and child health. Impressive progress has been achieved in maternal and infant mortality, as seen in the global under-five mortality rate which has been cut by more than half, and the maternal mortality ratio which has dropped by 45 per cent. Unfortunately, this progress in maternal and child health has not been experienced across the board due to factors including lack of food and safe drinking water, poor sanitation, population migration, changing disease patterns and morbidity, frequent extreme weather, and lack of shelter - all effects of climate change.

As such, pregnant women, newborns and young children are most vulnerable to these effects which can facilitate malnutrition, infectious diseases, environmental problems, and direct heat exposure. Participants who proffered best-practice solutions noted that climate change increases the risk of infant and maternal mortality, birth complications, and poorer reproductive health, especially in tropical, developing countries. However, perinatal mortality, resulting from climate change, can be prevented by focusing on quality antenatal care.

#MaternalMonday, the popular weekly information campaign established by Her Excellency Toyin Saraki's Wellbeing Foundation Africa seeks to empower midwives, mothers and their newborns through demand creation for birth-preparedness, reducing the scourge of preventable maternal newborn and child mortality. Mrs Saraki, the Newborn Champion for Save The Children Nigeria, also serves as Global Goodwill Ambassador to the International Confederation of Midwives.

Signed: Communications The Wellbeing Foundation Africa Email: Web:

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