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Better care options for pregnant women and premature babies

NEW YORK- According to a new report by a global coalition, including The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 30 million babies are either born premature or become seriously ill, requiring specialized care at the right time to survive beyond the first month of life.

UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, Mr Omar Abdi mentioned that, every year, millions of sick newborns and women die, due to non-satisfactory quality of healthcare.

The new report titled as, ‘Survive and Thrive: Transforming care for every small and sick Newborn’ reveals that babies with complications from being born premature, or suffering brain injury during childbirth, severe bacterial infection or jaundice, are at risk of disability and death.

Furthermore, the report states that the financial and psychological toll on the affected babies’ families can influence their cognitive, linguistic and emotional development.

Deputy Director General for Programs at WHO, Dr Soumya Swaminathan believes that a healthy pregnancy till childbirth and the first few months after birth are essential, for both the mother and baby. Newborn healthcare saves lives and is critical for early child development, thus impacting families, society and future generations, she said.

The report also revealed that unfortunately 2.5 million newborns died in 2017, mostly due to preventable causes. Nearly two-thirds were premature. More figures disclosed that an estimated one million small and sick newborns survived each year with a long-term disability.

As per the medical experts, premature babies or ones suffering from complications can live without major consequences, if smarter strategies are employed, such as providing team care for both mother and baby throughout labour, birth and beyond, in order to point out issues early on.

The report positively predicts that lives of 2.9 million women, still-borns and newborns in 81 countries can be saved by the year 2030. In order to reach this level of change, quality healthcare for newborns must be given.

 

December 17, 2018

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