India, which is reportedly said to be the world's stillbirth capital, has for the first time decided to count the number of stillbirths in the country along with the reasons which cause babies to die even before they are born, reported The Times of India.
According to a study, an estimated 1,680 stillbirths are recorded in India daily, but the exact number of babies dying in the womb has never been calculated in India before, states the report.
Dr Ajay Khera, deputy commissioner in the Ministry of Health, in an interview to The Times of India said that the country is aiming "to achieve a stillbirth rate of less than 10 per 1,000 live births by 2030".
However, at present, the estimated number of stillbirths in India is 22 per 1,000 live births. "We recently set up the India Newborn Action Plan, under which we have decided to map the actual rate of stillbirths in India."
"Stillbirth has remained invisible till now and has never been accurately calculated," Dr Khera told TOI.
Stating that "stillbirths are an indication of the quality of obstetric care in the country", Dr Khera further said that "We want to know what is causing these stillbirths -is it that the mother was suffering from malaria or high blood pressure, or is it because intra partum care was so bad that the child didn't get delivered."
Stillbirths at around 50 medical colleges will be monitored and a verbal and medical autopsy followed by a formal biopsy will be conducted to know the cause of the deaths.
The TOI report further states, "India is among 10 countries, which, though they contribute 54% of the worldwide live births, make up 66% or 1.8 million of all stillbirths. Around 2.6 million stillbirths occur worldwide each year during the last trimester -98% of them in low and middle-income countries."