Over 3,000 lives are lost to stillbirth a day across the world - most of which are preventable, according to studies published by The Lancet. 98% occur in low-income and middle-income countries.
Half of stillbirths happen during labour as a result of preventable conditions, notably syphilis and malaria, they add. The studies argue stillbirths are preventable through high-quality antenatal care. The studies say there is a widespread belief that stillbirths are due to birth defects and are unavoidable. However, it points out that this only accounts for 7.3% of stillbirths after 28 weeks.
Two-thirds of last year's 2.6 million stillbirths were in Africa. The three countries with the highest rates of still births as Pakistan, followed by Nigeria and Chad. Rwanda was able to reduce the number of stillbirths.
More than 40 million women give birth unattended at home each year
At present rates of progress, it will be 160 years until a woman in Africa will have the same chance of her baby being born alive as a woman in a high-income country