20 February 2018

Nigeria 11th Worst Place to Be Born

Photo: Lauren Everitt/AllAfrica
(file photo).

The number of newborn babies dying each year remains "alarmingly high" around the world-and moreso in developing countries, the United Nations Children's Fund says in a new report Every Child Alive.

The report ranks Nigeria the 11th highest on newborn deaths, with 29 deaths per 1,000 births of newborn. Eight of the 10 worst places to be born are also in sub-Saharan Africa.

Before the report, part a global campaign to demand and deliver solutions on behalf of the world's newborn, Nigeria's own Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) found 37 out of every 1,000 newborns die.

UNICEF said the national average hides the difference between the 36 states and the slow progress in some of them.

"A fair chance in life begins with a strong, healthy start. Unfortunately, many children in Nigeria are still deprived of this," said Mohamed Fall, UNICEF Nigeria's Representative.

"MICS data tells us that the trend is improving but urgent action needs to be taken for Nigeria to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. It cannot afford to fail its newborns today."

Every year, 2.6 million newborns around the world do not survive their first month of life. One million of them die the day they are born.

World over, for every 1,000 births in low-income countries, 27 newborns die. In high income countries the rate is three deaths per 1,000.

"While we have more than halved the number of deaths among children under the age of five in the last quarter century, we have not made similar progress in ending deaths among children less than one month old," said Henrietta H. Fore, UNICEF's Executive Director.

"Given that the majority of these deaths are preventable, clearly, we are failing the world's poorest babies."

Every Child Alive notes that eight of the 10 most dangerous places to be born are in sub-Saharan Africa, where pregnant women are much less likely to receive assistance during delivery due to poverty, conflict and weak institutions.

Eight in 10 newborn deaths are due to prematurity, deprivation of oxygen, complications during birth or infections such as pneumonia and infection.

These deaths can be prevented with access to well-trained midwives during antenatal and postnatal visits as well as delivery at a health facility, along with proven solutions like clean water, disinfectants, breastfeeding within the first hour, skin-to-skin contact, proper cord care, and good nutrition.

However, a shortage of well-trained health workers and midwives means that thousands don't receive the life-saving support they need to survive.

More on This

Unicef Ranks Nigeria 11th in Newborn Mortality, Says 37 Out of 1,000 Die

The United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) has raised the alarm that global deaths of newborn babies remain alarmingly… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 Daily Trust. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.