More than 395,000 babies will be born around the world on New Year’s Day, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said.
A quarter will be born in South Asia alone , according to a statement issued by UNICEF .
“As the clock strikes midnight, Sydney will greet an estimated 168 babies, followed by 310 in Tokyo, 605 in Beijing, 166 in Madrid and finally, 317 in New York,” the statement said.
According to UNICEF, the first baby of 2019 will be born in Fiji in the Pacific and the last one in the United States.
UNICEF estimates that 69,944 children will be born in India on the first day of the new year; 44,940 in China; 25,685 in Nigeria; 15,112 in Pakistan; 13,256 in Indonesia; 11,086 in the U.S.; 10,053 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and 8,428 in Bangladesh.
In 2017, UNICEF said about 1 million babies died the day they were born, and 2.5 million in just their first month of life.
“Among those children, most died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis and pneumonia, a violation of their basic right to survival,” it said.
“This New Year Day, let’s all make a resolution to fulfill every right of every child, starting with the right to survive,” said Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, UNICEF deputy executive director.
“We can save millions of babies if we invest in training and equipping local health workers so that every newborn is born into a safe pair of hands,” she said.
2019 also marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which UNICEF will be commemorating with worldwide events throughout the year.
“Over the past three decades, the world has seen remarkable progress in child survival, cutting the number of children worldwide who die before their fifth birthday by more than half,” according to UNICEF.
But there has been slower progress for newborns.
“Babies dying in the first month account for 47 per cent of all deaths among children under five,” UNICEF said.