Fred Ezeh, Abuja

United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), has said that its record indicated that 25,685 new babies are expected be born in Nigeria on New Year’s Day.

It also confirmed that 395,072 new babies would be born on same day across the globe, with Nigeria accounting for 6.5 percent of the new births.

Nigerian will also account for almost 40 percent of new births in West and Central Africa, and more than 23 percent in sub-Saharan Africa.

The UN children agency however predicted that over half of the world’s new births on New Year day would take place in eight countries, including Nigeria with 25,685 new births.

Others are India (69,944 new births), China (44,940), Pakistan (15,112), Indonesia (13,256), United States (11, 086), Democratic Republic of Congo (10,053), and Bangladesh (8,428 new birth).

UNICEF Nigeria’s Acting Representative, Pernille Ironside, in a statement released in Abuja, expressed fear that many of the new births might not survive few days of their life due to certain peculiar challenges in different countries of the world.

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She said that “most of the new babies die of preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, infections like sepsis and pneumonia, a violation of their basic right to survival amongst several others.”

She said that Nigeria had second highest record of infant mortality in the world with death of about 262,000 babies recorded at birth, in addition to 257 babies that die within their first month of life.

Pernille said that only one out of every three new babies in Nigeria was delivered in a health centre, and that had significantly affected the survival chances of the new babies.

UNICEF, thus, challenged global leaders to make a resolution to fulfill the right of every child, starting with the right to survive. “We can save millions of babies if we invest in training and equipping local-health workers so that every newborn is born into a safe pair of hands.”


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