Of an estimated 3,95,072 babies born all over the world on the first day of New Year this time, India accounted for almost 18% of them. India, which is the second most populous country in the world, is estimated to have added 39,994 newborns to its population on January 1, 2019.
This data was provided by the United Nations Childrenâ€™s Fund (UNICEF), which said, â€śIn cities around the world, revellers will welcome not only the New Year with great festivities but also their newest and tiniest residents.â€ť While the first baby was of 2019 expected to be born in Fiji, the last was in the United States.
According to UNICEFâ€™s estimates, India figures right at the top of eight countries which accounted for 50% of all newborns born globally, beating China, the worldâ€™s most populous country, to second place. The breakdown is as follows.
1. India â€” 69,944
2. China â€” 44,940
3. Nigeria â€” 25,685
4. Pakistan â€” 15,112
5. Indonesia â€” 13,256
6. The United States of America â€” 11,086
7. The Democratic Republic of Congo â€” 10,053
8. Bangladesh â€” 8,428
While releasing this data, UNICEF drew attention to infant mortality rates as well. â€śAround the world on January 1, families will welcome countless Alexanders and Ayeshas, Zixuans and Zainabs. But in several countries, many babies will not even be named as they wonâ€™t make it past their first day.â€ť
Pointing out that about a million babies breathed their last the same day they were born in 2017, around 2.5 million infants just made it to the first month. Most of these children succumbed to preventable causes like premature birth, complications during delivery and illnesses like sepsis and pneumonia, which UNICEF said, was a violation of their basic right to survival.
In 2017, India reported 8,02,000 infant deaths, which was the lowest in five years, according to United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UNIGME) data. This was lower than the 8.67 lakh infant deaths recorded in India in 2016, when the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) was 34 per 1000 live births nationally. In comparison, the IMR was 32 for every 1000 live births in India in 2017.
While acknowledging the strides made in child survival, UNICEF said that the progress was slower for newborns, even though deaths of babies under the age of 30 days account for 47% of all child deaths under the age of five.
â€śThis New Year Day, letâ€™s all make a resolution to fulfil every right of every child, starting with the right to survive,â€ť said Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director. â€śWe can save millions of babies if we invest in training and equipping local health workers so that every newborn is born into a safe pair of hands.â€ť