NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
on Monday called on African countries to ensure more newborns
survive their first days of life.
In a statement issued
in Nairobi, UNICEF said about 48,000 babies will be born in the
Eastern and Southern Africa region on New Year’s Day.
Leila Pakkala, UNICEF’s Regional Director in Eastern and
Southern Africa, said babies born in Eastern and Southern Africa
will account for 12 percent of the estimated 386,000 babies to
be born globally on New Year’s Day.
"This New Year, UNICEF’s resolution is to help give every
child more than an hour, more than a day, more than a month—more
than survival," Pakkala said.
According to UNICEF, almost 58 percent of these births will
take place in five countries within the region, with the largest
number of births on New Year’s Day projected for Ethiopia.
The UN agency said Ethiopia will have 9,023 new borns,
Tanzania will have 5,995 new births, Uganda (4,953), Kenya
(4,237) and Angola (3,417).
"We call on governments and partners to maintain and expand
their efforts to save millions of children’s lives by providing
proven, low-cost solutions," Pakkala said.
UNICEF said sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 38 percent of
all newborn deaths in 2016.
An estimated 2,600 children around the world died within the
first 24 hours, every day of the year in 2016, according to
Some 136,000 newborns died in Ethiopia and Tanzania combined
in 2016, placing them in fifth and ninth position, respectively,
among the ten countries with the highest neonatal deaths in the
Among those children, more than 80 percent of all newborn
deaths are due to preventable and treatable causes such as
premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections
like sepsis and pneumonia.
"We are now entering the era when all the world’s newborns
should have the opportunity to see the 22nd Century.
Unfortunately, nearly half of the children born this year likely
won’t. We should all do much more," Pakkala said.
According to UNICEF, despite noticeable improvements in child
survival within the continent, child mortality remains high and
important challenges need to be met to accommodate the projected
increase in births and prevent African countries with high
fertility rates from falling further below international
benchmarks for maternal, newborn and child care.
UNICEF said it will in February launch Every Child Alive, a
global campaign that demands and delivers affordable, quality
health care solutions for every mother and newborn.
"These include a steady supply of clean water and electricity
at health facilities, the presence of a skilled health attendant
during birth, disinfecting the umbilical cord, breastfeeding
within the first hour after birth, and skin-to-skin contact
between the mother and child," it said.
Half of New Year babies
from nine countries: UNICEF
DHAKA Bangladesh (Xinhua) --
Approximately 8,370 babies will be born in
Bangladesh on New Year’s Day, the United Nations International
Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) said Monday.
Bangladeshi babies will account for 2.17 percent of the
estimated 385,793 babies to be born globally on New Year’s Day,
it said in a statement.
According to UNICEF, globally, over half of these births are
estimated to take place in nine countries including India
(69,070), China (44,760), Nigeria (20,210), Pakistan (14,910),
Indonesia (13,370), the United States (11,280), the Democratic
Republic of Congo (9,400), Ethiopia (9,020) and Bangladesh
While many babies will survive, some will not make it past
their first day, said the UN children’s agency, adding that
Kiribati’s Christmas Island, a small island in the Pacific, will
most likely welcome 2018’s first baby, and the United States its