Morocco has one of the highest low birthweight rates in Africa, a new study reveals

According to a study conducted by the Lancet Global Health, Morocco has one of the highest low birthweight rates in Africa. In 2015, 122 514 babies were born with low birth weight in the Kingdom.

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In a survey published this week, health organization the Lancet Global Health revealed that many babies worldwide are born with low birthweight, a serious problem that can affect their health, AFP reported.

The study entitled «National, regional, and worldwide estimates of low birthweight in 2015, with trends from 2000: a systematic analysis» found out that «estimated worldwide low birthweight (LBW) prevalence in 2015 was 14.6% compared with 17.5% in 2000».

Conducted by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNCF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the study indicated that «in 2015, an estimated 20.5 million livebirths were low birthweight, 91% from low-and middle-income countries, mainly southern Asia (48%) and sub-Saharan Africa (24%)».

Morocco ranked first in the MENA region and 4th in Africa

Studying the situation of newborns in Morocco, the study revealed that the estimated low birthweight rate in the Kingdom was 18.8% in 2000, adding that 120 339 birth babies had low birthweight during that year. According to data provided by the study, low birthweight rate among Moroccans moved to 17.3% in 2015, with 122 514 babies born with low birth weight.

In Africa, Morocco is ranked fourth among other countries that suffer from low birthweight. Indeed, with its 17.3%, Morocco is behind the Comoros Islands (23.7%), Guinea Bissau (21.1%) and Senegal (18.5%). Other African countries such as Angola (15.3%), Cameroon (12%) and Algeria (7.3%) have lower rates.

As for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Morocco is ranked first with the highest low birthweight in the region. The Kingdom is followed by the United Arab Emirates (12.7%), Bahrain (11.9%), the Sultanate of Oman (10.5%), Kuwait (9.9%), Tunisia (7, 5%) and Qatar and Algeria (7.3%).

Overall, the country that had the highest low birthweight rate in 2015 was Bangladesh (27.8%). On the other hand, Sweden is the country that has the lowest rate of low birthweight in the world (6%). The United States (8%), the United Kingdom (7%), France (7.4%), Italy (7%) and Germany (6.6%) are on the same trend.

Accoridng to the authors of the study, low birthweight (LBW) of less than 2500 g is «an important marker of maternal and fetal health», stressing that it could «predict mortality, stunting, and adult-onset chronic conditions».