United Nations report warns of rising newborn mortality in near future

Modesto Morganelli
Ottobre 19, 2017

Pneumonia and diarrhea top the list of infectious diseases which claim the lives of millions of children under-five globally, while preterm birth complications and complications during labor or child birth caused 30 per cent of newborn deaths in 2016.

The number of deaths among children under five has decreased from 50 for every 1,000 births in 1990 to 13 in 2016 in Armenia, a United Nations report said Thursday, october 19.

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The report, "Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2017", revealed that 5.6 million children died before reaching the age of five in 2016.

The five countries that accounted for half of all new-born deaths were India (24 per cent), Pakistan (10 per cent), Nigeria (nine per cent), Congo (four per cent) and Ethiopia (three per cent). One million of them died the very day they were born, and almost one million more died within their next six days. Thirty per cent of newborns succumbed to preterm birth complications and complications during labour or child birth a year ago.

UNICEF also said that 46 percent of that number - or 7,000 babies - died in the first 28 days of life. "The lives of 50 million children under-five have been saved since 2000, a testament to the serious commitment by governments and development partners to tackle preventable child deaths", according to UNICEF chief of health, Stefan Swartling Peterson. "Another 2.6 million babies were stillborn past year..." "We have the knowledge and technologies that are required - we just need to take them where they are most needed".

"The best measure of success for universal health coverage is that every mother should not only be able to access health care easily, but that it should be quality, affordable care that will ensure a healthy and productive life for her children and family", he added.

In order to decrease child mortality rates, the report states it is necessary to improve access to skilled health-care professionals, immunization, breastfeeding medicines and clean water access to the world's poorest countries. Approximately one million children aged five to 14 died in 2016, it says.

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