‘16,000 babies to be born in Pakistan on 1st January 2020’, UNICEF

Progress for newborns has been slower. Babies dying in their first month of life makes up 47% of all deaths among under-fives in 2018, this number was previously 40% in 1990.

According to estimates from the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), about 392,000 babies, including 16,787 in Pakistan will be born on New Year’s Day.

The agency is of the view that 2020’s first baby will be born in Fiji, and over half of all births on 1st January will take place in seven other countries, besides Pakistan, which are India (67,385), China (46,299), Nigeria (26,039), Indonesia (13,020), the US (10,452), Democratic Republic of Congo (10,247) and Ethiopia (8,493).

“The beginning of a new year and a new decade is an opportunity to reflect on our hopes and aspirations not only for our future but the future of those who will come after us,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director.

“As the calendar flips each January, we are reminded of all the possibility and potential of each child embarking on her or his life’s journey—if they are just given that chance.”

In 2018, UNICEF statistics showed that 2.5 million newborns died before reaching one month of age, around a third of them on the first day of life.
Most of these deaths were from preventable causes, like premature death, infections like sepsis and complications during delivery.

Massive progress in child survival:

While more than 2.5 million babies are born dead every year, UNICEF further pointed out that there has been massive progress in child survival over the past 30 years. During that time, the number of children who die before their fifth birthday has reduced by more than 50%.

Progress for newborns has been slower. Babies dying in their first month of life makes up 47% of all deaths among under-fives in 2018, this number was previously 40% in 1990.

“Too many mothers and newborns are not being cared for by a trained and equipped midwife or nurse, and the results are devastating,” Ms. Fore stated.

“We can ensure that millions of babies survive their first day and live into this decade and beyond if every one of them is born into a safe pair of hands”, she continued

UNICEF is of the view that the provision of universal health care can help save more newborns. The agency is calling for investments in midwives and other health workers who are equipped with the right medicines and equipment to make sure that all mothers and babies are taken care of.

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