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    A new study has found that countries with higher rates of stillborn babies had higher amounts of fine particulate air pollution.

    Key Findings

    • India leads the list with the highest average number of stillbirths — 217,000 out of 25 million births each year.
    • India was followed by Pakistan (110,000), Nigeria (93,000), China (64,000) and Bangladesh (49,000).
    • The highest fraction of stillbirths attributable to particulate matter (PM) 2.5 pollution are:
      • Qatar (71.16 per cent); 
      • Saudi Arabia (68.38 per cent); 
      • Kuwait (66.08 per cent); 
      • Niger (65.68 per cent) and 
      • the United Arab Emirates (64.63 per cent)
    • South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Arabian Desert were hotspots of PM 2.5-related stillbirths due to high exposure and baseline stillbirth rate.
    • The study covered 137 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, where 98 percent of stillbirths occurred.

    About Stillbirth 

    • A stillbirth is the death or loss of a baby before or during delivery. 
    • Both miscarriage and stillbirth describe pregnancy loss, but they differ according to when the loss occurs. 
    • World Health Organization’s Classification : A baby who dies after 28 weeks of pregnancy, but before or during birth, is classified as a stillbirth.
    • Concerns:
      • There are nearly 2 million stillbirths every year, one each 16 seconds.
      • Over 40 percent of all stillbirths occur during labour.
    • Prevention:
      • Improved quality and respectful care during childbirth.
      • Routine monitoring and timely access to emergency obstetric care when required.

    Source: DTE