Why Do One Million Babies Die On The Day They Are Born?

25 February 2014 by

A newborn baby in the Philippines

It’s a devastating statistic – more than one million babies around the world die on the very same day they are born. In some countries, infant deaths are so common, babies aren't even named until they've survived their first month. And it's time for this to change, says Save the Children....

They are launching a campaign today, ‘Ending Newborn Deaths’, aimed at ensuring every baby survives.

“The first day of a child’s life is the most dangerous and too many mothers give birth alone on the floor of their home or in the bush without any life-saving help”, says Justin Forsyth, the charities Chief Executive. “We hear horror stories of mothers walking for hours during labour to find trained help, all too often ending in tragedy. It’s criminal that many of these deaths could be averted simply if there was someone on hand to make sure the birth took place safely and who knew what to do in a crisis.”

Complications during labour and premature birth are among the causes of these babies dying. Every year 40 million women give birth without trained help. In Ethiopia only 10% of births have skilled help while in some areas of rural Afghanistan there is just one midwife for 10,000 people.

“These new statistics reveal – for the first time ever – the true scale of the newborn crisis”, adds Justin.  The solutions are well-known but need greater political will to give babies a fighting chance of reaching their second day of life.” 

To support the campaign – and to help save the life of a newborn baby today – visit Save the Children. Just £3 can buy tubes of antiseptic cream which can prevent life-threatening infections. And £5 can buy life-saving antibiotics.

And why not add your name to the official petition calling on the UK government to help end first-day deaths.

 

 


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