Nearly 386,000 children will be born worldwide on New Year’s Day, says UNICEF

 

Nearly 386,000 children will be born worldwide on New Year’s Day, says UNICEF

2018's first baby - a girl named Vilisi Ciri Sovocala - was born at 1.44 am on New Year's Day in Suva, the island capital of Fiji.  Vilisi Ciri Sovocala weighs 3.3 kg.  Her mother, Joana Sovocala, gave birth at Suva's Colonial War Memorial Hospital.
 
Immediately after birth, Joana breastfed her daughter to protect her from diseases.  Breastmilk contains antibodies that can boost a baby's immune system, thereby protecting it from disease and death. Yet around the world, 77 million newborns - more than half - are not put to the breast within an hour of birth. Delaying breastfeeding by 2-23 hours after birth increases the risk of death in the first 28 days by over 40 per cent.  

UNICEF's estimates show that 47 babies will be born in Fiji on New Year's Day. A baby born in 2018 in Fiji is expected to live till 2088, whereas a child born in Australia is most likely to live to 2101. The Fijian baby will join nearly 386,000 children to be born worldwide on New Year's Day, including over 11,000 in the United States.
 
While many of these babies will survive, some will not make it past their first day. In 2016, an estimated 2,600 children died within the first 24 hours every day of the year. Of every thousand babies born in Fiji, 9 children died in the first month.
 
Across the world, 2.6 million children died before the end of their first month in 2016. Among those, more than 80 per cent of all newborn deaths are due to preventable and treatable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis and pneumonia. 
 
In February, UNICEF will launch a new global campaign demanding affordable, quality health care for every mother and newborn.

© UNICEF/ Chute

2018’s first baby – a girl – was born at 1.44 am on New Year’s Day in Suva, the island capital of Fiji.

NEW YORK/HONG KONG, 1 January 2018 –  Approximately 386,000 babies will be born on New Year’s Day, UNICEF said today. Of these, over 90 per cent will be born in less developed regions.

Kiribati’s Christmas Island in the Pacific will most likely welcome 2018’s first baby; the United States, its last. Globally, over half of these births are estimated to take place in nine countries:

• India — 69,070
• China — 44,760
• Nigeria — 20,210
• Pakistan — 14,910
• Indonesia — 13,370
• The United States — 11,280
• The Democratic Republic of Congo — 9,400
• Ethiopia — 9,020
• Bangladesh — 8,370

While many babies will survive, some will not make it past their first day. In 2016, an estimated 2,600 children died within the first 24 hours every day of the year. For almost 2 million newborns, their first week was also their last. In all, 2.6 million children died before the end of their first month. Among those children, more than 80 per cent died from preventable and treatable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis and pneumonia.

“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,” said Stefan Peterson, UNICEF’s Chief of Health. “We call on governments and partners to join the fight to save millions of children’s lives by providing proven, low-cost solutions.”

Over the past two decades, the world has seen unprecedented progress in child survival, halving the number of children worldwide who die before their fifth birthday to 5.6 million in 2016. But despite these advances, there has been slower progress for newborns. Babies dying in the first month account for 46 per cent of all deaths among children under five.

Next month, UNICEF will launch Every Child Alive, a global campaign to demand and 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, disinfecting the umbilical cord, breastfeeding within the first hour after birth, and skin-to-skin contact between the mother and child.

 “We are now entering the era when all the world’s newborns should have the opportunity to see the 22nd century,” added Peterson. “Unfortunately, nearly half of the children born this year likely won’t. A child born in Sweden in January 2018 is most likely to live to 2100, while a child from Somalia would be unlikely to live beyond 2075.”