- Twenty-six thousand thirty-nine children will be born in Nigeria on January 1, 2020, UNICEF has said
- The number of children to be born on New Year Day will the third-highest deliveries after India and China
- These Nigerian babies will account for almost 7% of the estimated 392,078 babies to be born on New Year’s Day globally
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said that an estimated 26,039 children will be born in Nigeria on 2020 New Year's Day.
According to UNICEF, Nigeria will top the list of countries with a high number of child deliveries on New Year Day just after India and China with 67,385 and 46,299 babies on January 1, 2020.
A statement by UNICEF's chief of communications, advocacy and partnerships, Eliana Drakopoulos, Nigerian babies will account for almost 7% of the estimated 392,078 babies to be born on New Year’s Day globally.
Drakopoulos also said UNICEF is calling on world leaders and countries to invest in health workers with the know-how and equipment to save every newborn.
Also, Peter Hawkins, UNICEF's Nigeria representative said, 2020 - the beginning of a new decade - is an opportunity for all to reflect on hopes and dreams for Nigeria's future especially for her children.
Hawkins said: “As we start each new year, we are reminded of the potential of each and every Nigerian child embarking on her or his life’s journey - if only they are given that chance to survive and thrive.”
This new year, the international agency said Fiji in the Pacific will most likely deliver 2020’s first baby while the United States might deliver the last baby for the day.
Also, globally, over half of these births are estimated to take place in eight countries with Pakistan, Indonesia, US, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia having 16,787, 13,020, 10,452, 10,247 and 8,493 respectively.
Meanwhile, every January, UNICEF celebrates babies born on New Year’s Day, an auspicious day for childbirth around the world.
However, for millions of newborns around the world, including in Nigeria, the day of their birth is far less auspicious and sadly is often their last.
In 2018, 2.5 million newborns died in just their first month of life around the world; about a third of them on the first day of life. In Nigeria, this was 318,522 deaths.
Among those children, most died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis. In addition, more than 2.5 million babies are born dead each year - with more than 400,000 stillborn deaths taking place in Nigeria annually.
Also, over the past three decades, the world - including Nigeria - has seen remarkable progress in child survival, cutting the number of children worldwide who die before their fifth birthday by more than half.
In Nigeria, this number has been cut by about 500,000 between 1990 and 2018 with slower progress for newborns.
Babies dying in their first month of life accounted for 47% of all deaths among children under five in 2018, up from 40 per cent in 1990. In Nigeria, these figures are 29%, up from 21% in 1990.
UNICEF’s Every Child Alive campaign calls for immediate investment in health workers with the right training, who are equipped with the right medicines to ensure every mother and newborn is cared for by a safe pair of hands to prevent and treat complications during pregnancy, delivery and birth.
“Too many mothers and newborns are not being cared for by a trained and equipped midwife or nurse, and the results are devastating,” said Hawkins.
He said: “We can ensure that millions of babies survive their first day and live into this decade and beyond if every mother has good pregnancy care and every baby is born into a safe pair of hands.
"That means having well-equipped facilities with well-trained staff who can be there to welcome every Nigerian child into this world safely and healthily."
"This is especially critical as we now only have 10 years to deliver on the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)," he said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that UNICEF had said that over 20,000 grave violations were committed against Nigerian children in the last seven years.
According to UNICEF, there has been an equivalent of more than 45 violations every day for the last 10 years against children.
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It also warned that children across the globe have continued to pay a deadly price in the face of the conflict.
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