India the 12th worst country to be born in: UNICEF  

  • According to the report, released by the UNICEF, India the 12th worst country to be born in among 52 lower middle-income nations.
  • The report says that with 25.4 deaths per 1,000 births, India ranks below its neighbours – Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan – in neonatal risk. But it is comparatively better ranked than Pakistan,  which is the riskiest nation to be born in. 
  • Sri Lanka’s neonatal mortality is rate 5.2 per thousand which is the lowest neonatal mortality rate among India’s neighbours  and it is is comparable with high-income countries.
  • Around 2.6 million babies die within a month of birth every year — an average of 7,000 deaths every day Worldwide. Of these, India, where 26 million babies are born in a year, accounts for 640,000 annual neonatal deaths. 
  • The report says that India has done better  in reducing under-five mortality, reducing it by 66% between 1990 and 2015 against the world average of 55%, but progress has been slower in saving babies during the neonatal period when they are the most vulnerable. 
  • India’s under-five mortality fell to 39 in 2016 from 43 in 2015. It means about 120,000 fewer children dying. This success was achieved because of vaccines against diarrhoea and pneumonia being included in the national immunisation programme.
  • As per the report more than 80% of neonatal deaths are due to premature birth, complications during labour and delivery, and infections such as sepsis, meningitis and pneumonia.
  • Babies born in richer countries have better chances to survive than poorer countries. For example, a baby born in Pakistan, the country with the worst newborn mortality rate , faced a one in 22 chance of death, while a baby born in Japan had only a one in 1,111 risk of dying. 

Newborn mortality Rate (Number of deaths per 1,000 births)

  • Best Performers
    • Japan                                      0.9
    • Iceland                                   1.0
    • Singapore                              1.1
    • Finland                                  1.1
    • Estonia                                  1.3
  • Worst Mortality Rate
    • Pakistan                                     45.6
    • Central African Republic       42.3
    • Afghanistan                              40.0
    • Somalia                                     38.8
    • Lesotho                                     38.5

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