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Updated: May 8, 2013 04:35 IST

Three lakh newborns last hardly a day

Aarti Dhar
Comment (5)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

India accounts for 29 per cent of all such deaths

Over three lakh newborns in India die within 24 hours of their birth every year – the highest number in the world.

With a total of 3,09,000 babies hardly surviving a day, India tops the list for such deaths, according to a report titled ‘State of the World’s Mothers’ released here on Tuesday.

The country accounts for 29 per cent of all such deaths — ahead even of Nigeria, Pakistan and China, the study by Save the Children says.

The report also claims that 4,20,000 babies across South Asia die on their first day – almost one every minute. Chronic malnourishment which leads to mental or physical impairment or ‘stunting’ is particularly severe in the region.

According to the report, of the one million babies who die each year on the day they are born, almost 40 per cent are in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Sample survey

Quoting Sample Registration Survey (SRS 2011) figures, the report says Madhya Pradesh has the highest burden of early newborn deaths (0-7 days) at 32, followed closely by Uttar Pradesh and Odisha (30).

Other States with high burden are Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir.

Kerala shows the way

Kerala is the leader in reducing neonatal mortality by a wide margin, while Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Maharashtra too have improved the national rate.

Thomas Chandy, CEO of Save the Children in India, says: “For the first time in history, putting an end to this crisis is within our reach, but to achieve this will require unprecedented focus on saving babies in their first day of life. Save the Children recognises the immense efforts being made in India and the government’s commitment to end child mortality in a generation. Although many challenges remain, India has mobilised the most important ingredient to long term success: political will.”

Overall, however, the report says that progress in South Asia, while “significant” has, along with sub-Saharan Africa, “lagged behind the rest of the world.”

Two thirds of all newborn deaths occur in 10 countries, four of which are in the region: Nigeria, DR Congo, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and China.

Low in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has reduced newborn mortality by 49 per cent since 1990. Community health workers reaching mothers and babies at home, and training birth attendants and medical staff in resuscitation devices to help babies breathe are factors in this progress.

Nepal has reduced mortality by 47 per cent since 1990.

Maternal risk

In South Asia, there are striking differences among countries in the case of maternal risk to life. In Afghanistan, a mother has a one in 32 risk of maternal death, in India it is 1 in 170, and in Nepal one in 190.

Top five nations

The top five countries in the South Asian mothers’ ranking are: Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. The bottom five are (in descending order) Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.

Nigeria has 89,700 deaths in this category, followed by Pakistan (59,800), China (50,600), Congo (48,400), Ethiopia (28,800), Bangladesh (28,100), Indonesia (23,400), Afghanistan (18,000) and Tanzania (17,000).

This is a shocking revelation, three lakh infants dying within 24
hours of their birth. This is our achievement after 66 years of
independence and eleven Five Year Plans later. Look up the recent
tragedies. Two years back, we witnessed serial deaths of new born in a
government hospital at Jaisalmer. It was revealed later in an inquiry
that the labour room had not been sanitised after each delivery. There
were similar deaths in a Kolkatta hospital and though there was a maze
of angry news reports nothing much turned out. A less covered case in
media and the most gruesome one was in GUna; a woman in labour pains
rushing to the hospital in an auto and as she was entering the
hospital gave birth to her baby. While the papers were being got ready
for admission, one of the pigs roaming in the hospital tried to make a
feast of the4 new born. But for the vigilance of a stranger passing
through, the infant would have died soon after delivery.

from:  s subramanyan
Posted on: May 8, 2013 at 13:45 IST

Still we have a population of 1.3 Billion, wonder what will happen if
all these lives are saved..

from:  Abhinav
Posted on: May 8, 2013 at 10:50 IST

Can someone tell me what are the main reasons for this alarming issue. Is it child
births at home( not at hospitals ) or lack of care for the new born at hospitals or a
deceased child born out of mother ?

from:  Satish Kandukuri
Posted on: May 8, 2013 at 10:48 IST

This is really a serious issue. We don't have proper education system for the parenting.

from:  Dileep
Posted on: May 8, 2013 at 10:25 IST

So very sad to read the article.........Where do you start to fix the
problems in India??????

In 1945, Japan and Germany got up from the Ashes..... India got its say
in 1947.

Where are these three countries today?????

from:  Surendra
Posted on: May 8, 2013 at 07:54 IST
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