UNICEF report links education to reduced maternal and infant mortality

Educated girls are more likely to wait to have children, and are more likely to care for their infants through immunization, nutrition and a healthy living environment, according to a recent UNICEF report.
South Asia plays host to the largest number of annual maternal deaths worldwide and has one of the highest rates of neonatal mortality, UNICEF’s 2009 State of the World’s Children report said. Accompanying these trends is a high rate of child abuse and childhood marriage, in which areas South Asia also tops the list. Education is one of the key paths to remedy these issues, UNICEF emphasized. The South Asian adult literacy rate is 63 percent, nearly 20 percent lower than the global rate, while only 43 percent of females are likely to attend secondary school.