Africa's Twins at Risk
Posted: 02 Jun 2017

Researchers have discovered that one-fifth of twins in sub-Saharan Africa die before the age of five in what is thought to be the first comprehensive study to track the development of twin mortality in that part of the world.

Research from Radboud University Nijmegen and Oxford University has found that one in five children born as a twin in sub-Saharan Africa dies before their fifth birthday. The death rate among single-born children aged under five has halved between 1995 and 2014, but for twins the rate came down by a third. Co-author Professor Christiaan Monden from Oxford University said: "So far, the poor fate of twins has gone largely unnoticed." He said twin pregnancies needed to be detected earlier and mothers should give birth in a hospital with staff trained in twin deliveries. Prof Monden added: "It is very easy to say mothers should just give birth in a nice hospital, but that is not a realistic option for many. What surprised us when we found the higher death rate among twins is we thought this must be well-known by big UN organisations and that they pay special attention to twins - but this is not the case."
BBC News online, 01/06/2017, Tulip Mazumdar

Further information

Christiaan Monden is Head of Department, Professor of Sociology and Demography, Fellow of Nuffield College