NEW DELHI – Nearly 30 million babies around the world are born either premature or too small or become sick after birth and needs specialized care to survive every year, according to a report released in New Delhi on Thursday.
The report, prepared by organizations such as UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), said that by 2030 the lives of 2.9 million women, stillborns and newborns in 81 countries can be saved with smarter strategies such as same health care teams for both mother and baby.
“When it comes to babies and their mothers, the right care at the right time in the right place can make all the difference,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Omar Abdi.
He stressed that millions of women and babies continue to die every year owing to inadequate access to quality healthcare.
The report also said last year 2.5 million newborns died worldwide from preventable causes and underlined that around two-thirds of the babies that died every year were born premature, a condition that is susceptible to chronic ailments and delayed growth.
Moreover, an estimated one million sick newborns every year survive with long-term disabilities, according to a WHO statement, which added that many of these babies could live healthy lives if provided with better care.
Around 68 percent of newborn deaths could be prevented by 2030 through simple solutions such as exclusive breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact between the parents and the baby, access to clean, well-equipped health facilities, injection to prevent bleeding in mothers and delaying cutting off the umbilical cord, according to the report.
“Progress on newborn health care is a win-win situation – it saves lives and is critical for early child development thus impacting on families, society, and future generations,” said WHO Deputy Director General for Programmes, Soumya Swaminathan.