According to the current ranking by UNICEF, Nigeria has one of the highest newborn deaths.
With the newborn mortality rate of 29 deaths per 1,000 births, the global estimate ranks Nigeria as the 11th highest on newborn deaths, though the situation is ameliorating, progress is still very slow.
The recent survey conducted by the Government of Nigeria in 2016/17 through the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), the rate of newborn death per 1000 birth is 37.
This national average hides the differences between the 36 states and the slow progress in some of them.
Nigeria’s Representative at UNICEF, Mohammed M Fall, said: “A fair chance in life begins with a strong, healthy start, unfortunately, many children in Nigeria are still deprived of this.
“MICS data tells us that the trend is improving but urgent action needs to be taken for Nigeria to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. It cannot afford to fail its newborns today.”
According to a new report on newborn mortality released, 1million die the day they are born, while 2.6 million newborns around the world do not survive a whole month.
The report, released by UNICEF, stated that universal mortality rate is quite alarming, especially among the poorest countries in the world. It pointed to Sub-Saharan Africa as one of the most dangerous places to be born owing to the fact that the women receive little or no attention during delivery as a result of poverty, conflict and weak institutions.
Globally, in low-income countries, the average newborn mortality rate is 27 deaths per 1,000 births, the report says. In high-income countries, that rate is 3 deaths per 1,000.
UNICEF’s Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore said: “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.
“Given that the majority of these deaths are preventable, clearly, we are failing the world’s poorest babies.”
With access to well-trained midwives during antenatal and postnatal care more than 80 per cent of newborn deaths which are due to prematurity, asphyxia, complications during birth or infections such as pneumonia and sepsis will be curbed, along with proven solutions like clean water, disinfectants, breastfeeding within the first hour, skin-to-skin contact, etc.
This month, UNICEF is launching Every Child ALIVE, a global campaign to demand and deliver solutions on behalf of the world’s newborns.
Through the campaign, UNICEF is issuing an urgent appeal to governments, health care providers, donors, the private sector, families and businesses to keep every child alive by recruiting, training, retaining and managing sufficient numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives with expertise in maternal and newborn care among others.