The United Nations Children’ Fund (UNICEF) says approximately 20,210 babies were born in Nigeria on New Year’s Day.
NAN reports that the births represented the third largest population of newborns in the world on January 1, 2018.
UNICEF said nearly 386,000 babies were born worldwide on New Year’s Day, 90 percent of which were recorded in less developed regions.
Globally, over half of these births are estimated to take place in nine countries, according to UNICEF.
These are: India, 69,070; China, 44,760; Nigeria, 20,210; Pakistan, 14,910; Indonesia, 13,370; United States, 11,280; Democratic Republic of Congo, 9,400; Ethiopia, 9,020; and Bangladesh, 8,370.
UNICEF said while many babies would survive, some would not make it past their first day.
Speaking on Monday, Stefan Peterson, UNICEF’s chief of health, said the agency is challenging nations around the world to make sure more newborns survive their first days of life.
“This New Year, UNICEF’s resolution is to help give every child more than an hour, more than a day, more than a month – more than survival,” he said.
In 2016, an estimated 2,600 children died within the first 24 hours every day of the year, according to the UN agency.
UNICEF said for almost two million newborns, their first week was also their last.
In all, 2.6 million children died before the end of their first month, the global children’s agency said.
Among those children, more than 80 percent died from preventable and treatable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis and pneumonia, UNICEF said.
“We call on governments and partners to join the fight to save millions of children’s lives by providing proven, low-cost solutions.”
According to UNICEF, the number of children who die before their fifth birthday has reduced by half but 46 percent of children die in their first month of life.
UNICEF said it will launch ‘Every Child Alive,’ a global campaign to demand and deliver affordable, quality health care solutions for every mother and newborn in February 2018.
These include a steady supply of clean water and electricity at health facilities, the presence of a skilled health attendant during birth, disinfecting the umbilical cord, breastfeeding within the first hour after birth, and skin-to-skin contact between the mother and child.