New Delhi: Pakistan is the riskiest country to be born in as it is home to the highest newborn mortality rates in the world, according to a UNICEF report released on Tuesday. UNICEF released a report examining the death rates of newborn babies during the first 28 days of life.
Babies born in Japan, Iceland and Singapore have the best chance at survival, while newborns in Pakistan, the Central African Republic and Afghanistan face the worst odds, UNICEF, said, in a statement. Pakistan topped the poll, with 45.6 newborn babies dying out of every 1,000 births in 2016. India’s neonatal mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 live births) is 25.4, which ranks it at 12 among 52 “lower-middle-income countries” in terms of risk for newborns.
The safest nation for birth on the list is Japan, where less than one in 1,000 babies dies by the time they complete a month. Japan’s figure is more than 50 times lower than neonatal mortality rates in Pakistan, reflecting the widening disparity in life expectancy around the world.
“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,” UNICEF’s Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore said. “Given that the majority of these deaths are preventable, clearly, we are failing the world’s poorest babies,” Fore added.
Each year, some 2.6 million babies do not survive through their first month. More than 80 percent of newborn deaths included delivery complications or infectious diseases such as pneumonia, which could have been prevented with basic solutions such as affordable healthcare and well-trained medical staff, according to the report.