On 31/Dec/2018 / In Articles
Over 25,685 babies will be born in Nigeria on January 1, 2019, making up 6.5 per cent of the estimated 395,072 babies to be born on New Year’s Day globally, says the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).
According to a statement by UNICEF Nigeria’s Acting Representative, Pernille Ironside, over half of the world’s births are estimated to take place in just eight countries, including Nigeria.Ironside noted that India would record the highest birth of new babies with 69,944, followed by China with 44,940, Nigeria 25,685, Pakistan 15,112, Indonesia 13,256, United States 11,086, Democratic Republic of Congo 10,053 and 8,428 in Bahladesh. He said that Nigerian babies would account for almost 40 per cent of those born in West and Central Africa, and more than 23 per cent of those born in sub-Saharan Africa.
Ironside observed that at current life expectancy rates, a child born in Nigeria today is likely to live only to the year 2074 – 55 years of age while a child born today in Denmark is likely to live until the 22nd century.He noted that only children born in Central African Republic, Chad and Sierra Leone have a lower life expectancy than that of Nigerian children.
“We can and must do more to ensure that children born in Nigeria survive their first day of life – and are able to survive and thrive for many months and years to come,” Ironside said
According to him, about one million babies died the day they were born globally in 2017 while 2.5 million in just their first month of life.He said that each year in Nigeria, about 262,000 babies die at birth, the world’s second highest national total, while every day in Nigeria, 257 babies die within their first month of life.
‘’Among these children, most died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery and infections like sepsis and pneumonia, a violation of their basic right to survival. In Nigeria today, only one out of every three babies is delivered in a health centre, decreasing a newborn baby’s chance of survival. This is just one of the issues that need to be addressed to improve the chances of survival of those babies born today and every day.”
Meanwhile, 2019 also marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the convention on the rights of the child, which UNICEF will be commemorating with worldwide events throughout the year. Under the convention, governments are committed to, among other things, taking measures to save every child by providing good quality health care.
By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze
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