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70 per cent infant deaths can be prevented: report

Written by: Staff
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Bhopal, June 7 (UNI) Use of low-cost technique and equipment could prevent 70 per cent infant deaths in developing countries, including India, at an additional cost of Rs 18,000 crore,says a report.

In the latest report of international organisation 'Save the children', experts said the conception that infant deaths could be reduced with the help of high-quality and costly methods was wrong.

Providing tetanus vaccine to pregnant woman, employing skilled workers for delivery, preventive measures to protect infant from infection and breast-feeding besides awareness about health could prove a milestone in saving three out of every four children, it said.

The international community could achieve the target by spending 4.1 billion dollar annually.

As per the report, India had high number of infant deaths.

Among 78 nations mentioned, India stood at 59th -- with 43 infant deaths per 1,000 births.

Liberia was at the bottom of the list with 65 infant deaths, while Vietnam and Columbia, which were torn by war for years, were on the top of the list with 12 infant deaths per 1,000 birth.

The corresponding figures in neighbouring countries were: Bhutan (37), Nepal (39), Bangladesh (41) and Pakistan (58).

However, infant mortality rate in China was 20.

The report stated that gross neglect of death of infants was a major health problem.

As per the report, the first hour and the first day of a child's birth is the most crucial period.

Every year 70 lakh infants die before reaching 12 months of age.

60 per cent or 40 lakh of them die in the first month itself with 30 lakh deaths in the first week and 15 lakh deaths within 24 hours of birth.

UNI GB-PS HS BST1359

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