5.5 million ‘invisible’ babies are born and die each year
About 5.5 million babies (around 3 million neonates + 2.6 million stil-births) die every year globally. Every day, about 8,000 neonates die and about 7, 000 are stillbirths. Stillbirths occur at about 28 weeks of gestation and also during labor. Nearly half of all stillbirths are those who die during labour- just 5 minutes before birth.
Five countries account for half of all the newborn mortality across the world. These are:
- India (highest): 7,79,000 deaths
- Nigeria: 2,76,000
- Pakistan: 2,02,400
- China: 1,57,000
- Democratic Republic of Congo: 1,18,000
While significant achievement has been made in reducing the number of deaths in children aged under-five by half, the progress in bringing down the number of newborn deaths has been slower.
The progress is even worse in the case of stillbirths. Stillbirths are not counted in the Millennium Development Goals.
What is shocking is that most of the 2.6 million stillbirths every year across the globe go unrecorded as in most countries stillbirths do not get birth or death certificates, which makes these births and deaths “invisible”.