Africa is riskiest place to be born, report says

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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — More than 1 million babies die the day they are born every year, and the 14 countries with the highest rates of first-day deaths are all in Africa, according to a new report released Tuesday.

Somalia, Congo, Mali, Sierra Leone, and Central African Republic are the five countries with the highest rates of such deaths, according to the report ‘‘Surviving the First Day’’ from the aid group Save the Children.

‘‘Health care for mothers in sub-Saharan Africa is woefully insufficient. On average, only half the women in the region receive skilled care during birth,’’ the report said. ‘‘The region as a whole has only 11 doctors, nurses, and midwives per 10,000 people, less than half the critical threshold of 23 generally considered necessary to deliver essential health services.’’

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