Maternal/Newborn Survival

Every day mothers and babies in Bhutan die from entirely preventable causes. New medical equipment and training will help more women and children survive.


You can help more mothers and babies survive

In Bhutan, infants are six times more likely to die in their first year of life compared to New Zealand babies, and mothers are eight times more likely to die in childbirth. These deaths are almost entirely preventable.

Up to 80% of newborn deaths are due to:

- complications with premature delivery

- infections after birth

- defects that occurred during foetal development 

Women delivering in health facilities are much more likely to survive and have healthier babies. But two out of every five women in Bhutan don’t deliver in health facilities, and often give birth without the presence of a skilled health worker. More than half of mothers from the poorest backgrounds deliver their babies without any medical support.

The project aims to benefit up to 10,000 women and 10,000 newborns in Bhutan.

Your support will provide equipment to help high risk newborns survive, and training to ensure medical staff can provide high quality care. 

Global Women member, Dr Jackie Mills, has generously offered to match fund the first $50,000 of donations. This means every $1 you donate is worth $2 to this fantastic project.

Help women like Rahindraa

UNICEF has successfully run a similar project in Nepal, helping women like Rahindraa. Because her husband works away it’s up to her to care for their daughters, tend the home and work in the fields to feed everyone.

Rahindraa with her baby boy

During previous pregnancies Rahindraa gave birth on her own without a skilled medical attendant. During her most recent pregnancy, a UNICEF-supported health worker encouraged her to attend antenatal appointments.

At the 3rd appointment it was discovered that the baby was in an abnormal position, and Rahindraa was referred to hospital. Following a six hour drive, Randindraa reached hospital just as the baby’s foot was coming out of her uterus. 

She was quickly taken for an emergency caesarean, where she gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

“The baby and I would have been dead if the operation was not done as quickly as possible. I will share my experience with other community members and help to prevent maternal and newborn deaths by promoting check-ups and institutional delivery in my community,” she said.

Donate now to increase the chances of women and newborns surviving in Bhutan

UNICEF NZ is a registered charity with the New Zealand Charities Commission (registration CC35979), making all donations tax refundable.