Over 400,000 babies die within day of birth in India
More than 400,000 children die within 24 hours of their birth in India every year - the highest anywhere in the world, a study by an international charity said.delhi Updated: Oct 05, 2009 09:48 IST
More than 400,000 children die within 24 hours of their birth in India every year - the highest anywhere in the world, a study by an international charity said.
While globally this figure stands at two million babies dying within a day of their birth, the shocking and tragic fact is that the reason for these deaths are diseases and infections that are easily treatable, and therefore the deaths are preventable.
Launching their 'Everyone' campaign on Monday which seeks commitment from individuals to save the lives of millions of children under the age of five, Thomas Chandy, CEO of Save the Children said: "Every child deserves a chance to survive. And every one of us has a moral responsibility to act (to ensure that)."
Despite rapid economic growth, India accounts for one-fifth of newborn deaths in the world. Though the country has made significant progress in reducing child mortality, the newborn mortality rate at 39 per 1,000 live births and child mortality rate at 72 per 1,000 live births are shocking, said the study by Save the Children.
With the launching of Save the Children's 'Everyone' campaign in 40 countries including India, Chandy said that often people have a misconception that the cost of saving the lives of millions of children is too high.
"If people understood how affordable and feasible it is to prevent children dying, they would be shocked. There is no real pressure on the government to act largely because of public perceptions that it is too costly to change the reality," Chandy said.
According to the survey conducted in 14 countries, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Britain, the US, India and Pakistan, 48 percent of the respondents thought that it would cost the world an additional 400 billion dollars annually to save the lives of children.
The reality however is that an additional 40 billion dollars - less than half the amount spent on bottled water - is needed globally to save the innocent lives, Chandy said.
Among the other findings of the report is that 13 of the 14 country respondents felt that poverty was the biggest threat to children's lives. China, which was the exception, said that climate change was the biggest threat.
In a heartening finding, 57 percent of the respondents in India said that they would readily give up the cost of a meal for the sake of a child they had never met.
"However two million children under the age of five die each year in India, the highest anywhere in the world and one third of the world's malnourished children live here. These have to change," the report stressed.