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September 03, 2011

India records 33% drop in newborn deaths!

India witnessed a sharp drop by 33% in deaths of newborn between 1990 to 2009. However, the country recorded the highest newborn deaths in the world year 2009, which is the biggest concern.

Over 9 lakh newborns died in 2009. The study "Save the Children & the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine" covering all 193 countries o'er 20 years by the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the world records 41% child deaths. 

The study revealed that India's Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) in 1990 was 49. About 13.49 neonatal deaths were recorded in the country. However, the NMR was 34 in 2009 that suggests that 9.07 lakh newborns died during the period. Five countries including China, Pakistan, India & Democratic Republic of Congo recorded more than half of the world's 3.3 million newborn deaths. 

Dr. Joy Lawn of Save the Children's Saving Newborn Lives programme said that the matter is a big concern. Each year 3.3 million babies die in the first four weeks of life despite cost-effective interventions & improved medical science that could save the babies. 

However, India needs to cheer for one reason that newborn deaths dropped from 4.6 - 3.3 million between 1990 - 2009. While NMR was 28%, maternity mortality rate was 34% & mortality of older children between 1 month & 5 years was 37%.

Dr. Lawn said that the child deaths  could be on rise as it already rose from 37% to 41%. He said that there could be three reasons for newborn deaths. They are pretern delivery, asphyxia & severe infections, which could be prevented with proper care. The solutions are quite simple, but many countries need trained health workers to create awareness among the parents. However, many developed & developing countries 've been working to reduce the child deaths. 

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