Highest Newborn Deaths in India: WHO

Recently, World Health Organization, Save the Children and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has released the most comprehensive newborn death estimates so far — covering all 193 countries and spanning 20 years. Here is some finding relevant to India:

  • India has recorded a 33% drop in newborn deaths between 1990 and 2009. India’s neonatal mortality rate in 1990 (deaths per 1,000 live births) was 49. In absolute numbers, the nation recorded 13.49 neonatal deaths. In 2009, the neonatal mortality rate stood at 34, which worked out to 9.07 lakhs.
  • Despite the sharp drop, over 9 lakh newborns died in 2009, the highest in the world.
  • Only five countries account for more than half of the world’s 3.3 million newborn deaths — India, Nigeria, Pakistan, China and Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • The three leading causes of newborn death — preterm delivery, birth asphyxia and severe infections — are preventable with proper care.

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