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High newborn mortality: 2.6 million babies die in the first month


2.6 million babies in the world do not even survive their first month

German experts reported last year that around one in four newborn girls today will be over 100 years old. In many other countries around the world, however, neither girls nor boys have such a high life expectancy. Around the world, around 2.6 million newborns die every year in the first month, reports the United Nations Children's Fund.

An alarming number of babies die for avoidable reasons

The alarming number of babies worldwide is still dying for mostly avoidable reasons - especially in the poorest countries, the UN children's aid organization UNICEF warns in its current report “Every Child Alive. The Urgent Need to End Newborn Deaths ”. Babies in Japan, Iceland or Singapore have the best chances of survival. Newborns have the worst chances in Pakistan, the Central African Republic and Afghanistan.

Not much progress in reducing newborn mortality

"While child mortality has been halved in the past quarter of a century, we have unfortunately not made the same progress in reducing newborn mortality," said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore in a statement.

"When you consider that the majority of these cases could be avoided, it is very clear: The world fails to protect the poorest babies."

As the report shows, eight out of ten countries with the highest newborn mortality rates are in sub-Saharan Africa, where pregnant women are often poorer in health care because of poverty, conflict and weak institutions.

If all countries were able to reduce newborn mortality to the average level in the industrialized countries by 2030, 16 million lives could be saved.

Baby deaths could be avoided

As the children's aid organization writes, successes in the fight against diseases such as measles or diarrhea, for example, lead to a reduction in child mortality among girls and boys under the age of five.

Advances in childbirth care are, however, slower. For this reason, the proportion of newborns among children who do not experience their fifth birthday has been increasing for years.

Over 80 percent of baby deaths (within the first 28 days) are a result of premature birth, birth complications, or infections such as pneumonia or sepsis.

According to UNICEF, they could be avoided if women were given birth by well-trained midwives and tried and tested measures such as clean water, disinfectants, breastfeeding and skin contact immediately after birth and good nutrition.

Pneumonia in particular is dangerous for the little ones: worldwide, two children die of pneumonia every minute, the children's aid organization Save the Children reported last year.

"Pneumonia causes more deaths in children worldwide than any other disease - more than malaria, diarrhea and measles combined," wrote the experts at the time in a fact sheet on their report "Fighting for Breath".

Worldwide campaign "Every Child Alive"

UNICEF is launching the global Every Child Alive campaign this month to promote and implement solutions to protect babies.

With the campaign, the children's aid organization makes an urgent appeal to governments, healthcare providers, donors, the private sector, families and companies to take action to ensure the survival of all children through the following measures:

A sufficient number of doctors, nurses and midwives with expertise in prenatal care and birth care must be hired, trained and managed.

Every mother and baby must have a clean, functioning health center within easy reach that has water, soap and electricity.

Providing mothers and babies with medication and medical equipment for a healthy start in life must be a top priority.

Adolescent girls, women, and families need to be empowered to require and receive good health care.

“Every year 2.6 million babies in the world do not even survive their first month. A million of them die on the day of their birth, ”said UNICEF Executive Director Fore.

“We know that we can save most of these babies with affordable and good solutions. Just a few small steps from all of us can help secure the first steps in the lives of these little people. ”(Ad)

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