Save one million babies who die on their birthdays

Save one million babies who die on their birthdays
Tue Feb 25, 2014 18:52:48

A new study says one million children each year die on the first and only day of their lives, often after their mothers have been left to give birth alone and unaided in the world’s poorest and most remote regions.

Urgent action is desperately needed to end the “heartbreaking and unacceptable” toll which it is estimated could be reduced by half through free basic healthcare and midwifery provision.

Most of these babies die within 24 hours as a result of birth complications including prolonged labor and infection, which are treatable provided help is readily at hand.

But the research by Save the Children estimates that 40 million women receive no trained support during their labor. Two million mothers said they last gave birth completely alone.

Justin Forsyth, chief executive of Save the Children said the figures were “criminal” and the solutions well known. “The first day of a child’s life is the most dangerous and too many mothers give birth alone on the floor of their home or in the bush without any life-saving help.

“We hear horror stories of mothers walking for hours during labor to find trained help, all too often ending in tragedy,” he said.

In addition to the one million birthday deaths, 1.2 million babies succumb during labor, the report found. In 2012, 2.9 million deaths occurred within the first four weeks of life, accounting for two in five child deaths.

Despite rapid international progress, which has seen child mortality halved in the past decade, 18,000 under-fives still die each year, mostly from preventable diseases.

Reducing early life and still births in labor is seen as crucial to meeting UN Millennium Development goal targets by 2015. But time is running out and it is feared that progress towards achieving the targets has stalled.

The charity is now urging politicians, philanthropists and those in the global healthcare and pharmaceutical industries to commit to a five- point “newborn promise”.

The project would see governments promise to tackle the earliest neonatal deaths and to ensure that every birth is attended by a trained health worker by 2025.

Source: The Independent

string(1086) "[{"id":"1547138","sort":"3172035","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/12/22/alalam_635233180097881612_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"5 children, 2 workers killed in Syria car bombing"} ,{"id":"1547244","sort":"3172036","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/12/22/alalam_635233382970087509_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syrian children killed in rebel attack on Homs school"} ,{"id":"1548067","sort":"3172037","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/12/25/alalam_635235657971914268_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"ISIL terrorists recruit children for war in Syria"} ,{"id":"1559545","sort":"3172038","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/01/26/alalam_635263605385673621_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"1 in 2 Afghan children suffer lifetime damage for food shortage"} ,{"id":"1568262","sort":"3172039","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/02/21/alalam_635286181273899069_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syria: UN envoy's report on children ignores the truth"} ,{"id":"1568928","sort":"3172040","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/02/23/alalam_635287716897891025_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"'No one cares': The tragic truth of Syria's 500,000 refuge children"} ]"