New York, United States, Jan 2, 2020 —
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has urged world leaders to invest in health workers to ensure that the mother and newborn are properly looked after to prevent and treat complications during pregnancy, delivery and birth.
Each January, UNICEF celebrates babies born on New Year’s Day, an auspicious day for childbirth around the world. In a statement on January 1, Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director said, “Too many mothers and newborns are not being cared for by a trained and equipped midwife or nurse, and the results are devastating.”
“We can ensure that millions of babies survive their first day and live into this decade and beyond if every one of them is born into a safe pair of hands,” she added.
UNICEF estimated that 392,078 babies would be born around the world on New Year’s Day. India topped the list of countries that will have most births – projected at 67,385.
“The beginning of a new year and a new decade is an opportunity to reflect on our hopes and aspirations not only for our future but the future of those who will come after us,” said Fore.
“As the calendar flips each January, we are reminded of all the possibility and potential of each child embarking on her or his life’s journey–if they are just given that chance,” she said.
UNICEF noted that babies dying in the first month accounted for 47 per cent of all deaths among children under five in 2018, up from 40 per cent in 1990.