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Newborn mortality -India 12th worst among 52 low-income nations

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According to a report by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), India has ranked 12th among 52 lower middle-income countries in terms of neonatal mortality rate.

Neonatal Mortality Rate:

Deaths per 1000 live births (during first 28 days) is referred to as Neonatal Mortality Rate.

  • First 28 days of life (the neonatal period) are the most critical for a child’s survival.
  • It is during this period that the newborns are vulnerable and face the highest risk of dying.
  • As per UNICEF, the Global Neonatal Mortality Rate is 19 deaths per 1000 live births.

Highlights of UNICEF Report on Neonatal Mortality Rate:

Neonatal Mortality Rate in India is 25.4/1000 live births. With nearly 640000 newborn deaths each year, India accounts for a quarter of the global burden of neonatal deaths of 2.6 million babies.Newborn mortality -India 12th worst among 52 low-income nations

  • With Neonatal Mortality Rate of less than 1, Japan is the safest nation for birth, while India’s neighbour Pakistan, with Neonatal Mortality Rate of 45.6 is the riskiest country to be born in.
  • Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF representative in India has stated that India is currently lagging in its commitment to lower neonatal mortality to 12/1000 live births by 2030.
  • 80% of newborn deaths are occurring due to premature birth, complications during labour and delivery and infections such as sepsis, pneumonia and meningitis.
  • Among Indian States, Kerala and Goa have neonatal mortality rates of 10/1000 live births, while for Bihar and Uttarakhand it is at 44/1000.
  • 57% of neonatal deaths in India occur in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. As these states account for 46% of all births, it can be inferred that States with the highest birth rates have higher newborn deaths.

Top 5 Safest Nations for newborns:

Country Neonatal Mortality Rate
Japan 0.9
Iceland 1.0
Singapore 1.1
Finland 1.2
Slovenia 1.3