Newborn deaths in India account for 29% of the world’s first-day deaths, with more than 300,000 babies succumbing to infections and other preventable causes within 24 hours of being born each year, a new report revealed Tuesday.
Save The Children, an international non-governmental organization that promotes children’s rights, said South Asia accounts for 40% of infant mortality in the world in its annual State of the World’s Mothers report.
But the heart-wrenching figure in India has focused the spotlight on the situation of mothers in the populous nation.
Even with rapid economic growth allowing for good healthcare facilities, more than half of all Indian women give birth at home without the help of skilled health care professionals, resulting in infections and complications – the leading causes of newborn deaths.
Access to low-cost, life-saving interventions could cut down the figures by as much as 75%, the report said, but a lack of political will and funding has hindered efforts to save newborn babies, reports AFP.
“If all newborns in India experienced the same survival rates as newborns from the richest Indian families, nearly 360,000 more babies would survive each year,” the report said.