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Efforts to prevent neonatal deaths must pick up: UNICEF

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

India, as part of its global campaign, 'EveryChildALIVE', sought today acceleration of efforts to eliminate preventable neonatal deaths -- when a baby dies in the first 28 days of life -- by 2030, with a focus on the girl child.

'EveryChildALIVE' is UNICEF's global signature campaign to demand and deliver affordable, solutions for every mother and newborn.

Given that contributes to nearly one fifth of the global burden of under-five age group deaths and around a quarter of the global burden of neonatal deaths, this campaign focuses on creating an in-depth discourse around the issues, a statement by stated.

UNICEF's officiating of Health, Dr said that has shown good and consistent progress in reduction of child mortality, with nearly 1,20,000 fewer under five deaths in 2016 as compared to 2015.

"However more efforts are needed for reducing neonatal deaths and addressing the gender gap in child survival. Simple interventions like ensuring every newborn is breast fed within the first hour of life can reduce neonatal deaths by 22 per cent," said Gupta.

"Government is doing its part, but it is also our collective responsibility to ensure every child gets the best start in life, truly leaving no one behind, he said.

Deputy Representative, said the government was making efforts and investments towards Universal Health Coverage and it was well reflected under the 'Aayushmaan Bharat' scheme.

The government aims at covering 10 crore poor and vulnerable families and provide a cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation under the scheme.

"I also salute the team of skilled health workers, who are committed to support every mother and baby with a safe pair of hands," said Ahrens.

UNICEF Celebrity Advocate Kareena Kapoor Khan said must be assured for every mother and baby

"When I was pregnant, access to and good doctors and nurses was a given. But, this should not just be a privilege for some... Every mother and every baby has the right to be supported by a safe pair of hands during pregnancy and the newborn period," she said.

Kapoor also highlighted the need for gender equity and quality, which she said are the next frontiers for newborn survival.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, May 13 2018. 20:50 IST