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India Becoming A Difficult Place For Motherhood: Survey

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India has slipped further in an annual survey analysing the world's best places to be a mother, ranking 140th behind countries like Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Iraq.
 
Save the Children's 'State of the World's Mothers' report for 2015 ranked India at 140, down from last year's 137th, on an index of four indicators that measure risk of maternal death, under-five mortality rate, expected number of years of formal schooling, the gross national income per capita and participation of women in government.
 
Researchers compiled the index of 179 countries by using data from UN agencies to show where mothers and children fare best and where they face the greatest hardships.
 
According to Save the Children, Indian children on average spend 11.7 years in formal schooling and 52.7 out of 1,000 children in India die before their fifth birthday.
 
The report found that children living in Delhi were among the most unequal with large gaps between health provision for the poorest and the richest.
 
"It’s a tale of two cities: the wealthy who are doing well and then the marginalised who are largely living in slum-like conditions," Robert Clay, vice-president for global health at Save the Children, said.
 
He said the Indian capital represents "the survival of the richest" as wealthy people "have the advantage and the poor are not getting access to essential services."
 
"While private high-quality sector health facilities are more plentiful in urban areas, the urban poor often lack the ability to pay for this care," the authors said.
 
"Public sector health systems are typically under-funded, and often fail to reach those most in need with basic health services. In many instances, the poor resort to seeking care from unqualified health practitioners, often paying for care that is poor quality, or in some cases, harmful," researchers said.
 
This year, as last, the top of the table was dominated by European countries and Norway replaced Finland at pole position.
 
The US ranked 33rd and the UK 23rd.
 
(Agencies)