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Over 3,227 babies may be born in Afghanistan today

Over 3,227 babies may be born in Afghanistan today

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Jan 01, 2019 - 09:48

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): More than 3,227 babies -- part the estimated 395,072 to be born on New Year’s Day -- would be born in Afghanistaninfo-icon today, UNICEF said on Tuesday.

“This New Year Day, let’s all make a resolution to fulfill every right of every child, starting with the right to survive,” says Stefano Savi, UNICEF’s deputy representative in Afghanistan.

Millions of babies could be saved if the worldinfo-icon invested in training and equipping local healthinfo-icon workers so that every newborn was born into a safe pair of hands, the UNICEF official believed.

As the clock struck midnight, Sydney greeted an estimated 168 babies, followed by 310 in Tokyo, 605 in Beijing, 166 in Madrid and 317 in New York, a statement from the UN agency said.

Fiji in the Pacific will most likely deliver the first baby in 2019; the United States, its last. A total of 99,183 babies will be born in South Asia alone, representing one quarter of all babies born.  

1.    India — 69,944

2.    Pakistaninfo-icon — 15,112

3.    Bangladesh — 8,428

4.    Afghanistan – 3,227

5.    Nepal – 1,591

6.    Sri Lanka – 822

7.    Bhutan – 40

8.    Maldives - 19

Families around the globe will welcome countless Alexanders and Ayeshas, Mohammads and Zainabs. But in several countries, many babies will not even be named as they won’t make it past their first day.

In 2017, about 1 million babies died the day they were born and 2.5 million in just their first month of life. Most of them died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis and pneumonia -- a violation of their basic right to survival.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which UNICEF will be commemorating with worldwide events throughout the year. Under the convention, governments committed, among other things, to taking measures to save every child by providing good quality health care. 

UNICEF’s Every Child Alive campaign seeks immediate investment to deliver affordable, quality health care solutions for every mother and newborn. These include a steady supply of clean water and electricity at health facilities, the presence of a skilled health attendant during birth, ample supplies and medicine to prevent and treat complications during pregnancy, delivery and birth, and empowered adolescent girls and womeninfo-icon who can demand better quality of health services.

Thirty years after world leaders committed to preserving children’s rights, newborns continue to be lost because of who they are or where they are from, says Savi.

“This year, we should renew our efforts to give every baby in Afghanistan a chance to survive, to be free of polio, to laugh, to cry, to play, to grow – to have a name and to have a life.”

pr/mud

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