30 mn newborns cry out for help

An estimated 30 million newborns require specialised care in hospital every year without which many either die or develop preventable health conditions and disabilities that affect them for life, according to a recent study by a global coalition that includes UNICEF and WHO. The report urges countries to invest in healthcare to prevent neonatal deaths among the most vulnerable newborns — the small and the sick. It points out that nearly 2.5 million newborns died during the first 28 days of life in 2017, of which approximately 80% had low birth weight and more than 65% were born prematurely. An additional 1.5 million small and sick newborns survive each year, with a long-term disability, including cerebral palsy and cognitive delays.

According to an earlier study by UNICEF, India witnesses 25.4 newborn deaths per 1,000 births and .64 million annually. The Sustainable Development Goal for neonatal deaths requires all countries to bring down the figure to 12 deaths or less per 1,000 births by 2030. The study, ‘Survive and thrive: Transforming care for every small and sick newborn,’ was released earlier this month. It underlines that universal access to quality care could prevent 1.7 million neonatal deaths, or 68% of the deaths that will otherwise occur in 2030. Low and middle income countries will be able to avert two out of three neonatal deaths by 2030 if they increase investment by $0.20 per capita.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/30-mn-newborns-cry-out-for-help/article25829665.ece

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