Nigeria has 11th highest newborn deaths globally

Tuesday, 20 Feb, 2018

It is during this time that babies are most vulnerable to the three preventable conditions that lead to most newborn deaths around the world - prematurity, complications during birth, and infections such as sepsis or pneumonia.

Through this new campaign, UNICEF in a statement said they are issuing an "urgent appeal" to government, health care providers, donors, the private sector, families and businesses to keep every child alive.

"Though infant mortality in the country has declined considerably, the number of newborns dying each year remains unacceptably high. India, with almost 600,000 newborn deaths each year, accounts for a quarter of the global burden of neonatal deaths", said Unicef in its global report on neonatal mortality "Every Child Alive" released on early Tuesday.

One in every 22 babies dies in Pakistan, one in every 24 in CAF, and one in every 25 in Afghanistan.

Despite the bleak news from the report, it also says that India has been able to decrease the mortality rate of children below the age of five.

Among the "lower middle-income countries", India has been ranked 12th out of 52.

Against the average NMR of 27 for low-income countries, the average for high-income countries is 3.

The report also says eight out of the 10 most unsafe places places to be born are in sub-Saharan Africa. One million of them die the day they are born.

Rwanda, a low-income country, has halved its newborn mortality rate in the last two decades, due to strong health systems, from 41 in 1990 to 17 in 2016.

According to UNICEF, 8 of the 10 most unsafe places to be born are in sub-Saharan Africa - with the organisation explaining pregnant women in those countries are less likely to receive help during delivery as a result of conflict, poverty and weak institutions. "Just a few small steps from all of us can help ensure the first small steps of each of these young lives".

It said the deaths are preventable with access to trained midwives during antenatal and postnatal visits as well as delivery at a health facility, along with proven solutions like clean water, disinfectants, breastfeeding within the first hour, skin-to-skin contact, proper cord care, and good nutrition. The report went on to claim that Norway only has "218 doctors, nurses and midwives to serve 10,000 people".