The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said that approximately 1.9 million families in Nigeria and other African countries spend over 40 percent of their non-food household expenses on maternal health services every year.
Across the globe, more than five million families face such stark reality, the UN agency said.
Nearly two-thirds of these households, or around three million, are in Asia.
According to UNICEF’s latest analysis, the costs of prenatal care and delivery services can deter pregnant women from seeking medical attention, endangering the lives of mothers and their babies.
This particularly affects poor mothers in developing countries, it pointed out.
UNICEF stated that, despite progress, over 800 women still die every day from pregnancy‑related complications and 7,000 babies die in the first month of life.