400,000 stillborn deaths occur in Nigeria annually


An estimated 26,039 babies were born in Nigeria on the first day of 2020 New Year’s Day, the third highest number of babies born on the same day in the world the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has stated.

In a New Year day statement, UNICEF stated that Nigeria was only topped by India and China with Fiji in the Pacific recording the delivery of 2020’s first baby,

According to UNICEF, by this Nigeria will account for almost 7 per cent of the estimated 392,078 babies to be born on New Year’s Day globally. Sadly, the day of birth for the millions of newborns around the world, including in Nigeria are of little consequence as most of them are not likely to make it through the first month after delivery.

The statement disclosed that, globally, more than 2.5 million babies are born dead each year – with more than 400,000 stillborn deaths taking place in Nigeria annually.

Although the world, including Nigeria has made remarkable progress in child survival over the past three decades, evident in the reduction in the number of children who die before their fifth birthday by more than half worldwide, there has been slower progress for newborns.

According to the UNICEF statement, babies dying in their first month of life accounted for 47 per cent of all deaths among children under five in 2018, up from 40 per cent in 1990. In Nigeria, these figures are 29 per cent, up from 21 per cent in 1990.

It further stated that, in 2018, 2.5 million newborns died in just their first month of life around the world; about a third of them on the first day of life. In Nigeria, this was 318,522 deaths. Among those children, most died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis. In Nigeria, the number of children who die before their fifth birthday has been cut by about 500,000 between 1990 and 2018.

Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Representative said, “Too many mothers and newborns are not being cared for by a trained and equipped midwife or nurse, and the results are devastating.”

According to Hawkins, “We can ensure that millions of babies survive their first day and live into this decade and beyond if every mother has good pregnancy care and every baby is born into a safe pair of hands.”

This he said means having well-equipped facilities with well-trained staff who can be there to welcome every Nigerian child into this world safely and healthily.

Hawkins, however, stated that the new year provides opportunity for a new beginning.

“The beginning of a new year – and this year, a new decade – is a chance for us to reflect on our hopes and dreams for the future of Nigeria – especially for those who stand to inherit this country; its children,” Hawkins said.

“As we start each new year, we are reminded of the potential of each and every Nigerian child embarking on her or his life’s journey—if only they are given that chance to survive and thrive.”

Globally, over half of these births are estimated to take place in eight countries:

India — 67,385

China — 46,299

Nigeria — 26,039

Pakistan — 16,787

Indonesia — 13,020

The United States of America — 10,452

The Democratic Republic of Congo — 10,247

Ethiopia — 8,493

Each January, UNICEF celebrates babies born on New Year’s Day, an auspicious day for child birth around the world.



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