The problems that babies face worldwide should draw more attention than the birth of the royal baby. According to a study by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), 7,000 newborns die globally every single day. There are many reasons for the high neonatal mortality rate (NMR), which is defined as the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births during the first 20 days of life. Some of the causes of the alarming mortality rate include premature birth, labor and delivery complications as well as infections among many other factors. According to a study, 5.4 million children died before their fifth birthday in 2017.
Africa is the continent with the highest infant mortality rate. Nigeria, DR Congo and Ethiopia, with a joint population of more than 350 million people, were the five nations with the greatest number of newborn deaths in 2016. Pakistan, located in the continent of Asia, is the nation with the highest infant mortality rate in the world.
Rwanda should serve as a model for other African nations, for it reduced infant deaths by more than half between 1990 and 2016. Even though it is a low income nation, giving access to high quality health care for all drastically reduced newborn deaths.
Bill and Melinda Gates are using their wealth to help all the disadvantaged children, especially those from Sub-Saharan African regions. They have a vaccination campaign to stop the spread of diseases in these vulnerable areas and save the lives of many youngsters. Hopefully, other philanthropists will follow them.
Japan, a very technologically advanced nation, has the lowest infant mortality rate in the world. You may think that the United States ranked in the top 10 for low infant mortality rate. It is surprising that the United States, one of the richest nations in the world, had the highest infant mortality rate compared to the 27 most developed nations globally.
As in other nations, the poor have a higher infant mortality rate in the US than all the other classes. One major reason is that they do not have access to good healthcare. Other expectant mothers may have poor habits such as drinking, smoking and taking other forms of drugs during pregnancy. Among all social classes, pregnant women need education and more resources to help them during pregnancy, especially those that suffer from addictions.
The measles outbreak, that started in the Hasidic community, continues to spread in New York and other areas. Now they are fining the parents who did not vaccinate the children. These parents need classes because they are so fearful of the vaccination. What they do not realize is that they place their children at an even greater risk by not giving them the inoculation. These parents have a fear of vaccines spread by the myth that vaccines cause autism. Even in a developed nation like the United States, where there are so many resources to fight disease, ignorance s helps to spread disease into epidemic proportions.
When a psychologically troubled woman is pregnant, the baby is always at risk. Others may even suffer from post-partum depression. Recently, the story that made news headlines was the young mother, from the Bronx, who allegedly threw her newborn, from a window according to police. This baby was found unconscious in a trash can and later died. Obviously, if the mother committed this crime, she should be punished. If she would have gotten the psychological help that she desperately needed, this tragedy could have been prevented.
Since children are one of our most valuable resources, governments worldwide need to wake up. Every nation should have universal healthcare to treat not only the body but also the mind. Across the globe, universal healthcare would reduce the death of babies in undeveloped countries as well as in developed nations like the United States. Simple measures such as sanitation, access to clean water and immunizations drastically reduce infant deaths.
When we lessen our carbon footprint, we help to reduce the death of babies and improve the quality of life for all youngsters. Many studies show that babies that live in areas with less air pollution have a probability of living until their first birthday. Even in a wealthy nation such as the US, there are alarming rates of asthma in children that live in poor urban areas where pollution abounds. Asthma, that is caused by pollution, is a societal burden, that many children carry, that is not cause by genetics.
Smoking is a factor that contributes to high infant mortality rate in all social classes. Mothers who smoked had a far greater risk of premature and more complicated births than those who did not smoke. The US government has launched a successful ad campaign against smoking. Not only does smoking increase the infant mortality rate, it causes premature death in people of all ages and makes the cost of health insurance even higher.
Even though the infant mortality rate remains high throughout the world, the good news is that organizations such as UNICEF and Save the Children, as well as many others, are taking the necessary steps so more infants survive. All babies are special and deserve to blow up more than one candle on that birthday cake.