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Global death of newborn babies remains high

Global death of newborn babies remains high

Pakistan is the riskiest country to be born in as it is home to the highest newborn mortality rates in the world, according to a UNICEF report released on Tuesday.

India's progress has been far better than the world's, the global decline in the under-five mortality during the MDG period was 55%, the official said, adding the number of annual under-five deaths in India has gone below one million for the first time in 2016.

A million babies draw their last breath the same day they took their first.

India's status though still remains a matter of concern, especially since, as the report points out, "Eight of the countries with the highest newborn mortality rates are considered fragile states".

On the causes of newborn deaths, the report said that more than 80 per cent of newborn deaths were due to prematurity, asphyxia, complications during birth or infections such as pneumonia and sepsis.

The report was released in conjunction with the launch of a global campaign, called Every Child Alive, aimed at ensuring "affordable, quality health care solutions for every mother and newborn".

But shortages of properly trained health workers and midwives are a major problem in poorer nations.

"These should be along with proven solutions like clean water, disinfectants, breastfeeding within the first hour, skin-to-skin contact, proper cord care, and good nutrition".

But amongst New Zealand's nearest neighbours, Kiribati has the highest rate of deaths per 1000 live births (22.6) followed by Vanuatu (11.8), Fiji (8.8), Samoa (9.2) and Tonga (6.8). The campaign seeks to build a consensus for the principle that "every mother and every baby deserves affordable, quality care".

While the infant mortality rate is slowly declining, population growth means that the number of deaths is still increasing in West and Central Africa, Prual said. "But wouldn't it be wonderful if we could share our knowledge and resources so that all babies, including those born throughout the Pacific, get the same great chances?" said Vivien Maidaborn, UNICEF NZ's Executive Director.

Other emergency appeal by the United Nations agency for children are; guaranteeing clean, functional health facilities equipped with water, soap and electricity, within the reach of every mother and baby.

About UNICEF UNICEF works in some of the world's toughest places, to reach the world's most disadvantaged children. In high-income countries, the rate is 3 deaths per 1,000.

For example, Unicef outlined that while there are 218 doctors, nurses and midwives in Norway to serve 10,000, that ratio is one per 10,000 in Somalia.

"We have midwives in government hospitals who can not deliver a baby", she added.

Revealing disturbing statistics, a UNICEF study has said that almost 600,000 newborns die within 28 days of their birth every year India.

Still, among countries that have made dramatic improvements is low-income Rwanda, which more than halved its newborn mortality rate from 1990 to 2016, illustrating that "political will to invest in strong health critical", the report said.



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