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Majority of newborn deaths take place in developing countries

Majority of newborn deaths take place in developing countries

Kolkata, Dec 12 (UNI) The vast majority of newborn death takes place in

developing countries because of low access to healthcare.

Most of these newborns die at home, without skilled care that could

greatly increase their chances for survival.

Skilled health care during pregnancy, childbirth and in the postnatal

(immediately following birth) period prevents complications for mother and

newborn, and allows for early detection and management of problems.

In addition, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF now

recommend home visits by a skilled health worker during a baby's first

week of life to improve newborn survival.

Newborns in special circumstances, such as low-birth-weight babies,

babies born to HIV-positive mothers, or sick babies, require additional

care and should be referred to a hospital.

Newborn, or neonatal, death account for 46 per cent of all deaths

among children under 5. The majority of all neonatal deaths (75 per cent)

occur during the first week of life, and about 1 million newborn die within

the first 24 hours.

The main causes of newborn death are prematurity and low-birth-weight,

infections, asphyxia (lack of oxygen at birth) and birth trauma. These

causes account for nearly 80 per cent of deaths in this age group.

With an increasing share of under-5 deaths occurring within the

neonatal period, accelerated change for child survival requires a greater

focus on building strong health services, ensuring that every birth is

attended by skilled personnel and making hospital care available in an

emergency.

Home visits by a skilled health worker immediately after birth is a

health strategy that can increase newborn survival rates. The strategy

has shown positive results in high mortality settings by reducing newborn

deaths and improving key newborn care practices.

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