Sweden's Children Top Priority
Posted on: 2008-01-22 11:41:30
Sweden has the lowest level of child mortality in the world.*
In delivery suite number 11 at the Karolinska University hospital, Asa Andersson is in the middle of labour, her husband Per at her side along with a highly trained midwife.
At quarter to midnight, Asa gives birth to a healthy baby boy. Everything went well.
But had there been complications doctors and a fully equipped operating theatre were just down the corridor.
This is childbirth in Sweden, the safest place in the world to be born - fewer children die here under the age of five than in any other country.
For Sweden, the figure is three deaths per 1,000 children, compared to six per 1,000 in the UK, and 270 per 1,000 in Sierra Leone, which has the highest child mortality rate in the world.
I was also present at a Caesarean delivery, just as I had been in Sierra Leone only days before.
In Sierra Leone the operating theatre was almost bare: there were no monitors to check the mother's vital signs and just one doctor.
In Stockholm there were two specialist obstetricians, a paediatrician on standby and an anaesthetist.
Add to that a wealth of monitoring equipment and it's easy to see why childbirth in Sweden is so much safer.
One in 17,400 mothers die in childbirth, compared to one in eight in Sierra Leone and one in 8,200 in the UK.
* This may be one reason why Sweden has become one of the top destination points of Third World interlopers. Once those children are born there it is all but impossible to make them leave, thus further marginalizing Sweden's host culture and population.