World is failing newborn babies: UNICEF

The UNICEF report highlighted the most alarming issue about the newborn mortality rate in World's poorest country.

Feb 20, 2018 16:30 IST
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As per the UNICEF’s new report on newborn mortality, worldwide deaths of newborn babies remain frighteningly high, particularly among the world’s poorest countries.

Babies born in Japan, Iceland and Singapore have the best chance at survival, while newborns in Pakistan, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Afghanistan face the worst chance.

While pointing out the global condition for new born, the UNICEF said that the number of deaths among children under the age of five in the last quarter century have been halved, but similar progress have not been made in ending deaths among children less than one month old.

The UNICEF in its report said that since majority of these deaths are preventable, and therefore, we are failing the world’s poorest babies.


As per report, in low-income countries, the average newborn mortality rate is 27 deaths per 1,000 births all across the globe.

However, In high-income countries, newborn mortality rate is 3 deaths per 1,000.

Newborns from the riskiest places to give birth are up to 50 times more likely to die than those from the safest places.

The report highlighted that more than 80% of newborn deaths are happening due to premature birth, infections such as pneumonia and sepsis or some complications during birth.

These deaths can be prevented with access to well-trained midwives, along with proven solutions like clean water, disinfectants, breastfeeding within the first hour, skin-to-skin contact and good nutrition.

The report also notes that 8 of the 10 most dangerous places to be born are in sub-Saharan Africa, where pregnant women are much less likely to receive assistance during delivery due to poverty, conflict and weak institutions.

If every country brought its newborn mortality rate down to the high-income average by 2030, 16 million lives could be saved.

Highest newborn mortality rates

1. Pakistan: 1 in 22
2. Central African Republic: 1 in 24
3. Afghanistan: 1 in 25
4. Somalia: 1 in 26
5. Lesotho: 1 in 26
6. Guinea-Bissau: 1 in 26
7. South Sudan: 1 in 26
8. Côte d'Ivoire: 1 in 27
9. Mali: 1 in 28
10. Chad: 1 in 28

Lowest newborn mortality rates

1. Japan: 1 in 1,111
2. Iceland: 1 in 1,000
3. Singapore: 1 in 909
4. Finland: 1 in 833
5. Estonia: 1 in 769
5. Slovenia: 1 in 769
7. Cyprus: 1 in 714
8. Belarus: 1 in 667
8. Luxembourg: 1 in 667
8. Norway: 1 in 667
8. Republic of Korea: 1 in 667

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‘Every Child Alive’ Campaign

UNICEF has launched ‘Every Child ALIVE’, a global campaign to demand and deliver solutions on behalf of the world’s newborns.

Through this campaign, UNICEF is issuing an urgent appeal to governments, health care providers, donors, the private sector, families and businesses to keep every child alive by:
• Recruiting, training, retaining and managing sufficient numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives with expertise in maternal and newborn care;
• Guaranteeing clean, functional health facilities equipped with water, soap and electricity, within the reach of every mother and baby;
• Making it a priority to provide every mother and baby with the life-saving drugs and equipment needed for a healthy start in life; and
• Empowering adolescent girls, mothers and families to demand and receive quality care.

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