According to a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report that gives rankings of countries based on their newborn mortality rate (the number of deaths per 1,000 live births), India ranks 12th from the bottom among 52 low-middle income countries. This is based on the number of children dying within the first month of their birth, which is 25.4 per 1,000 live births.

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Know more about the rankings:

  1. Pakistan is the worst with 45.6 newborn deaths per 1,000 live births.
  2. Japan, with an NMR of 0.9 deaths per 1,000 live births, ranks as the world’s safest country for birth. It is followed by Iceland (1) and Singapore (1.1).
  3. The US’s NMR stands at 3.7, which is only slightly better than lower-middle income countries like Sri Lanka and Ukraine. It ranks 15 among high-income countries.

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Relationship between newborn survival and country’s income level

“High-income countries have an average NMR of just 3. In comparison, low income countries have an NMR of 27. This gap is significant. If every country brought its NMR to the high-income average, or below, by 2030, 16 million newborn lives could be saved,” the UN body says.
The same report also mentions that more than 80% of newborn deaths are the result of premature birth, complications during labour and delivery and infections such as sepsis, meningitis and pneumonia. “Babies born to mothers with no education face almost twice the risk of dying during the newborn period as compared to babies born to mothers with at least secondary education,” said an official.
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