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According to UNICEF-WHO report “SURVIVE and THRIVE Transforming care for every small and sick newborn”, India witnesses 25.4 newborn deaths per 1000 births.

Important Facts:

Major Findings of the Report:

  • India witnesses 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.
  • 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 5 million small and sick newborns survive each year, with a long-term disability, including cerebral palsy and cognitive delays.
  • Newborns who are born too soon or too small, or who become sick, are at the greatest risk of death and disability. In 2017, an estimated 2.5 million newborns died during the first 28 days of life, 80% of these had low birth weight, and two thirds were born prematurely
  • What is more, family members of small and sick newborns are at high risk of long-term psychological and financial problems. These, in turn, can have additional detrimental effects on a newborn’s developmental, social and cognitive growth.
  • Neonatal mortality rates (NMRs) vary significantly between countries, from 1 to 44 deaths per 1000 live births. Almost all neonatal deaths (98%) occur in low and middle-income countries, with 78% in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. A newborn’s chances of surviving and thriving largely depend on where she or he is born.
  • 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.


  • The challenges facing small and sick newborns and their families include scarce services, barriers to care-seeking (such as a lack of awareness, transportation or finances) and discrimination.
  • The right to survive and thrive – Articles 6 and 24 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) emphasize the right of every newborn to the highest attainable standard of health and health care.
  • Unfortunately, these rights are not respected or protected in far too many places. This is particularly true for the most at-risk newborns and for those who are members of marginalized groups or living in crisis or conflict settings
  • The SDG target to end preventable neonatal deaths obliges all countries to reduce the neonatal mortality rate to 12 deaths or less per 1000 live births by 2030. It is an essential part of SDG 3 (to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages). Unfortunately, some countries are currently making little progress to meet this target, putting achievement of the global SDG 3 target in jeopardy

To save newborns, the report recommends

  • Providing round-the-clock inpatient care for newborns seven days a week.
  • Training nurses to provide hands-on care working in partnership with families.
  • Harnessing the power of parents and families by teaching them how to become expert caregivers and care for their babies, which can reduce stress, help babies gain weight and allow their brains to develop properly.
  • Providing good quality of care should be a part of country policies, and a lifelong investment for those who are born small or sick.
  • Counting and tracking every small and sick newborn allows managers to monitor progress and improve results.
  • Allocating the necessary resources, as an additional investment of US$ 0.20 cents per person can save 2 of every 3 newborns in low- and middle-income countries by 2030.

Reference :

Also read :

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