Research highlights needless death of a million babies
Monday 05 October 2009
More than than a million newborn babies are dying needlessly every year around the world because of lack of care in their first month of their life, according to research.
Newborn deaths account for 40 per cent of all deaths of children under the age of five, according to Save the Children, who are today launching their "Every One" campaign to highlight this neglected health crisis.
There is a clear link between poverty and high rates of newborn deaths, but many could be avoided by simple hygiene improvements and changes in traditional practices, the report claims.
According to Afghan traditions, "in order to keep the devil away, the newborn must be placed on the floor until the mother discharges the placenta," the report reveals. "The umbilical cord is then cut with a razor and a shoe."
Troubled African nations such as Liberia and Angola are also among those with the highest neo-natal mortality rates – the number of deaths per 1,000 births inside the first 28 days of life.
In Liberia, which tops the survey, babies are fed water for the first three days because the early, yellowish breast milk is believed to be inadequate. Babies often develop diarrhoea as a consequence and families use herbal treatments.
In China, members of the Hani minority believe it is inauspicious to transport a woman in labour, resulting in a high number of hazardous home births.
Infant mortality rates, that is deaths before the age of one, are commonly used as an indicator of economic performance and development. But until now relatively little attention has been paid to the fact that most deaths occur in the first month of a baby's life.
"One third of [these] lives could be saved through improved family and community care alone, such as improved hygiene at birth," according to Save the Children.
The report highlights Cuba which despite its status as a low income country has just four deaths per 1,000 births, a rate that compares favourably with the wealthiest nations.
It also reveals a number of deadly maternal myths, such as the belief that mothers should not breastfeed until a baby has been sprinkled with magic water by a witch doctor, and the notion that tea and biscuits are the best food for the first month of a newborn's life.
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - An excellent new instruction w...
£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Server Developer SQL, PHP, C#, Real Time,...
£600 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer C#, Win Forms, WPF, WCF, MVVM...