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Dying babies: 6 lakh infants die within 28 days of birth in India, annually, says UNICEF

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    New Delhi, Feb 20: There is good news as well as bad news. First, let us know what the good news is.

    According to a latest study by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), India has remarkably reduced the under-five mortality rate. However, a quarter of global neonatal deaths happen in India where nearly 600,000 newborns die within 28 days of their birth every year, added the report. It's definitely a bad news.

    baby

    The worldwide report on neonatal mortality titled, "Every Child Alive", was released on Tuesday. As per the study, the number of newborn deaths in India was one of the highest in the world in 2016. The causes of the deaths are preventable and treatable as 80 per cent of these fatalities happen for no serious reason.

    "Though infant mortality in the country has declined considerably, the number of newborns dying each year remains unacceptably high. India, with nearly 600,000 newborn deaths each year, accounts for a quarter of the global burden of neonatal deaths," stated UNICEF.

    The report is based on a study done among newborns in 184 countries. The study ranks India at the 31st place with 25.4 neonatal mortality rate (per 1,000 live births). The other 153 countries fared better than India in terms of saving newborns.

    Last year, India ranked at the 28th position in a similar study on neonatal death rate among 184 nations.

    The first 28 days of life (called as the neonatal period) are the most vulnerable time for a child's survival. Children face the highest risk of dying in their first month of life, at a global rate of 19 deaths per 1,000 live births.

    Across the world, 2.6 million children died in the first month of life in 2016 most of which occurred in the first week, with about one million dying on the first day and close to one million dying within the next six days, said the UNICEF report.

    "Among those children, more than 80 per cent died from preventable and treatable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis and pneumonia," added the report.

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