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UNICEF calls for investment in health workers for safety of mothers, newborns

While India topped the list of births on January 1, the country has seen an increase in the number of infant deaths in Kota, Rajasthan due to the lack of facilities

UNICEF calls for investment in health workers for safety of mothers, newborns
Bengaluru, First Published Jan 2, 2020, 6:00 PM IST
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New York: While India seems to be struggling to cope with the rising number of deaths of infants in Kota, one’s mind is drawn to a statement by Henrietta Fore, UNICEF executive director, on January 1.

Urging world leaders to invest in health workers to ensure that the mother and newborns are properly looked after to prevent and treat complications during pregnancy, delivery and birth, Fore attempted to highlight that “too many mothers and newborns are not being cared for by a trained and equipped midwife or nurse, and the results are devastating."

Adding hope to the grim statement, she also stated, "We can ensure that millions of babies survive their first day and live into this decade and beyond if every one of them is born into a safe pair of hands,"

UNICEF estimated that 392,078 babies would be born around the world on New Year's Day. India topped the list of countries that will have most births - projected at 67,385.

"The beginning of a new year and a new decade is an opportunity to reflect on our hopes and aspirations not only for our future but the future of those who will come after us," said Fore.

"As the calendar flips each January, we are reminded of all the possibility and potential of each child embarking on her or his life's journey--if they are just given that chance," she said.

UNICEF noted that babies dying in the first month accounted for 47% of all deaths among children under five in 2018, up from 40% in 1990.

Over 100 infants have died in the last month in JK Lone hospital in Kota, Rajasthan due to lack of facilities.

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