India has highest number of first-day deaths of newborns: 'State of The World's Mothers 2013

As per the latest ‘State of The World’s Mothers 2013’ report, India has more newborns death on the first day than in any other country. With this finding, India has gained notoriety for leading both maternal and new-born deaths globally. The report ranked 176 countries on maternal and child mortality
Key findings of the report:
In India, over 309,300 children (29% of global share) die on the first day because of complications related with preterm birth, hygiene and maternal health.

  • India ranks 142 among 176 countries.
  • Finland stands at the top position whereas the last rank to Democratic Republic of the Congo for maternal health and well-being.
  • China, despite being highly populated, ranks 4th and accounts for only 5% of the global share of first-day deaths.
  • 10 nations account for nearly two-thirds of all first-day deaths and most of these countries have very large populations like India, China and Indonesia.
  • Others high up on the list are Pakistan, Afghanistan and African nations like Nigeria and Ethiopia.
  • Developed countries fared well on the rankings with just 1% of the global first-day deaths and
  • US tops the list with least number of infants first-day deaths.
  • Health outlook is grim in South Asia because the region has only 14 doctors or nurses per 10,000 people.
  • Other reasons include pre-term deliveries, low birth weight (28% of babies in India are underweight) and stunting among women.
  • In Bangladesh, India and Nepal close to 13% of women are stunted and at a higher risk for complications of having smaller babies. In these countries, 20% to 40% of women are also very thin.
  • In India 47% girls marry by the age of 18, in Bangladesh child marriage and early childbearing is most prevalent with 66 % of young women getting married and 40% giving birth by before 18 years.
  • India is performing very poorly even in maternal health with 56,000 maternal deaths per year followed by Pakistan which has 12,000 maternal deaths every year.

What is Stunting and its complications?

  • Stunting refers to a height of less than 145 cm. Women who are stunted are at a higher risk for complications of having smaller babies.

What are the indicators used for developing the index this report?
The index for this ranking was developed on the basis of five indicators:

  1. Maternal health
  2. Children’s wellbeing
  3. Educational status
  4. Economic status
  5. Political status of women in their country



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