Five million children worldwide will die before their fifth birthday in 2021, and nearly half (47%) will die within the first month of life, according to new United Nations statistics.
Campaigners added that most of the deaths could have been prevented with better health care, and that neonatal deaths have not declined significantly since 2017.
Figures released Tuesday by the United Nations Interagency Group for Child Mortality Estimates show that while mortality rates have declined since 2000, progress has slowed over the past 12 years.
Dr. Vandana Tripathi, Director of Momentum Safe Surgery in the Family Planning and Obstetrics Program at NGO EngenderHealth, said: who died in the first month of 2017.
“This confirms that despite significant declines in maternal mortality, there remains a great need to strengthen safe and quality childbirth care, especially in obstetric emergencies in sub-Saharan Africa. “
Children born in sub-Saharan Africa are 15 times more likely to die in childhood than those in Europe and North America.
According to United Nations statistics, 1.9 million babies will be stillborn in 2021, more than three-quarters (77%) of them in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. A woman’s risk of stillbirth in sub-Saharan Africa is seven times higher than hers in Europe and North America.
Premature birth and complications during labor are the leading causes of neonatal death. Similarly, more than 40% of her stillbirths occur during labor. Diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria pose the greatest threat to children who survive past her 28 days of life, the United Nations said.
“Every day, millions of parents face the trauma of losing their children, sometimes even before they take their first breath,” said Vidya Ganesh, UNICEF’s Director of Data Analysis, Planning and Monitoring. “Such a widespread preventable tragedy should never be accepted as inevitable.”
Christy Cade, director of the White Ribbon Alliance, which advocates for women’s and girls’ health, rights and gender equality, said the numbers were not surprising. No,’ she said. “These numbers are the result of poverty, hunger and lack of housing. There is no improvement without a focus on women.”
She added that midwives and nurses are leaving health services “in large numbers” around the world due to low wages, greatly reducing the survival chances of women, children and babies.
“You can’t keep women alive if you can’t keep midwives alive,” she said. “Midwives can solve many of the problems that cause mothers and babies to die.”
Covid-19 did not have a significant impact on child mortality, but the pandemic may have increased future survival risks, the United Nations said. contributing to one of the largest sustained reversals in global immunization coverage.