An estimated 3,95,072 babies will have been born around the world on New Year’s Day, UNICEF said. Over one-sixth of those babies — 69,944 —will have been born in India, out of a quarter born in South Asia alone, according to the estimates released on New Year’s Day. Over half these births are estimated to have taken place in eight countries.
In several countries, however, many babies will not even be named as they won’t make it past their first day, UNICEF said. In 2017, about 1 million babies died the day they were born, and 2.5 million in just their first month. Among those children, most died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis and pneumonia.
Over the last three decades, the world has seen progress in child survival, cutting the number of children worldwide who die before their fifth birthday by more than half. But there has been slower progress for newborns. Babies dying in the first month account for 47% of all deaths under age five.
“This New Year Day, let’s all make a resolution to fulfill every 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,” Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, said in a statement.
Tip for Reading List | Modertate drinking does not harm new heart patients over 65: study
A new study suggests that people over age 65 who are newly diagnosed with heart disease can continue to drink moderate amounts of alcohol without worsening their condition. In fact, the study showed that moderate drinkers had a statistically better survival rate — a year longer than non-drinkers — but the researchers emphasized that this does not mean that non-drinkers should start drinking after being diagnosed with a heart condition. The study was conducted by researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis. It has been published in the journal JAMA Network Open, and can be read online at https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2719576.
The researchers analysed data from a previous study (1989-93). Out of 5,888 adults on Medicare, 393 patients developed heart failure during the nine-year follow-up period. The heart patients were an average age of 79. The patients were divided into four categories for the analysis: people who never drank, people who drank in the past and stopped, people who had seven or fewer drinks per week, and people who had eight or more drinks per week. The researchers accounted for important variables such as age, sex, race, education level, income, smoking status, blood pressure and other factors. They found an association between consuming seven or fewer drinks per week and an extended survival of just over one year, compared with the long-term abstainers. The extended survival came to an average of 383 days and ranged from 17 to 748 days. The greatest benefit seems to be derived from drinking 10 drinks per week, but so few patients fell into that category that the data were insufficient to draw definite conclusions.
Source: Washington University; School of Medicine in St Louis