Roughly 7,000 newborn babies across the world died every day in their first 28 days of life, according to a new report by the United Nations.
The latest statistics show that of all children under the age of five who died in 2016, 46 per cent were under 28 days old. That’s up from 41 per cent in 2000.
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That’s a trend in the opposite direction for overall child mortality of kids under five, which is at a new low of 5.6 million compared to 9.9 million in 2000.
“The lives of 50 million children under five have been saved since 2000, a testament to the serious commitment by governments and development partners to tackle preventable child deaths,” said UNICEF Chief of Health, Stefan Swartling Peterson.
“But unless we do more to stop babies from dying the day they are born, or days after their birth, this progress will remain incomplete. We have the knowledge and technologies that are required — we just need to take them where they are most needed.”
According to the report released by UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the World Bank, most newborn deaths occurred in Southern Asia at 39 per cent and Sub-Saharan Africa at 38 per cent.
India, Pakistan, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia, are the countries that accounted for half of all newborn deaths.
The reason for death is often due to pneumonia and diarrhea as well as preterm birth complications and complications during labour.
Out of the 2.6-million babies that were stillborn last year, the majority of them could have been prevented, the report states.
“It is unconscionable that in 2017, pregnancy and child birth are still life-threatening conditions for women, and that 7,000 newborns die daily,” said Tim Evans, senior director of Health Nutrition and Population at the World Bank Group.
“The best measure of success for Universal Health Coverage is that every mother should not only be able to access health care easily, but that it should be quality, affordable care that will ensure a healthy and productive life for her children and family.
In order to decrease child mortality rates, the report states it is necessary to improve access to skilled health-care professionals, immunization, breastfeeding medicines and clean water access to the world’s poorest countries.
Roughly 60 million more children are projected to die before their fifth birthday from now until 2030, the report says.