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India among five countries responsible for 50% newborn deaths

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As per a report titled “Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2017”, India along with Pakistan, Nigeria, Congo and Ethiopia is responsible for half of all new-born deaths in the world.

About “Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2017” Report:

“Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2017” are the estimates developed by United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) in context of monitoring child survival.India among five countries responsible for 50% newborn deaths

  • This report has been authored by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank Group and United Nations.
  • Estimates of under-five, infant and neonatal mortality have been presented in this report. Besides, progress at the country, regional and global levels has also been assessed.

Highlights of “Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2017”:

As per the report, 6 million children died before reaching the age of five in 2016. This marks a decrease as compared to year 2000 in which 9.9 million children had died before turning five.

  • The report outlined that neonatal deaths (deaths during the first 28 days of life) accounted for 46 per cent whereas 6 million babies were stillborn in 2016.
  • 24 per cent of new-born deaths occurred in India. Pakistan accounted for 10 per cent whereas African countries – Nigeria Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia accounted for 9 per cent, 4 per cent and 3 per cent respectively.
  • On a global level, Pneumonia and diarrhoea caused 16 per cent and 8 per cent of deaths respectively among children under five.
  • In 2016, 30 per cent of newborns succumbed to preterm birth complications and complications during labour or child birth.
  • The report has cautioned that as per the current trends, 60 million children would die before their fifth birthday between 2017 and 2030.
  • Improved access to skilled health-professionals during pregnancy and at the time of birth, immunisation and breastfeeding have been listed as possible solutions to ending preventable child deaths.