Neonatal Mortality Rates Ranking

Why in News?

UNICEF recently launched the “Every Child Alive” global campaign to demand and deliver affordable, quality health-care solutions for every mother and newborn.



Neonatal Mortality Rates

The number of neonatal deaths per 1000 live births. A neonatal death is defined as a death during the first 28 days of life (0-27 days). The NMR is a key outcome indicator for newborn care and directly reflects prenatal, intrapartum, and neonatal care.

Highlights of the Report

i)India saw the 31st highest newborn-mortality rate, at 25.4 deaths per 1000 in 2016, while Pakistan had the highest. India behind poorer countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal and Rwanda

ii)The biggest cause of death is premature birth, while the second is complications like asphyxia during delivery.

iii) Babies born in Japan stand the best chance of surviving, with just 1 in 1,000 dying during the first 28 days, while  Children born in Pakistan face the worst odds.

iv)Newborn survival is closely linked to a country’s income level. High-income countries have an average newborn mortality rate (the number of deaths per thousand live births) of just 3.3 In comparison, low-income countries have a newborn mortality rate of 27.


Way Forward

India has programmes such as the Janani Suraksha Yojana which promotes institutional deliveries, Matritva Sahyog Yojana for maternity benefit etc but these schemes must expand their reach in States like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Factors outside the healthcare system, like female literacy rates, also make a big difference to health care-seeking behaviour.

Despite these challenges, progress is within reach. States like Kerala and Tamil Nadu show that by focussing on these factors, newborn deaths can be brought to fewer than 15 per 1000 in Indian settings.


Source-The Hindu.