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Stillbirths in 2015

Stillbirth rate

What does it mean ?

Stillbirth rate is the number of stillbirths per 1,000 total births, which includes live births and stillbirths. A live birth refers to any baby that is born that shows signs of life outside of the womb. Stillbirths can occur before childbirth (antepartum), or during labour or childbirth (intrapartum). Stillbirths, in many cases, reflect inadequacies in antenatal care coverage or in intrapartum care. For international comparison purposes, stillbirths are defined as third trimester foetal deaths (more than or equal to 1000g, or more than or equal to 28 weeks).

Why does it matter ?

The majority of stillbirths are preventable, evidenced by the regional variation across the world. The rates correlate with access to maternal healthcare. The every newborn action plan (ENAP) to end preventable deaths has a set stillbirth target of 12 per 1000 births or less by 2030. This indicator is part of the Global Strategy for Women's, Children's and Adolescents' Health (2016-2030) under Survive: End preventable deaths.

How is it collected ?

The preferred sources for data are civil registration and vital statistics systems, and population-based surveys. Other possible data sources are administrative reporting systems, health facility assessments and special studies.

World Health Organization. 2020. Stillbirths [Accessed 9 March 2020]