LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-An estimated 2 121 babies are expected to be born today, January 1, 2019, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has announced.

In a statement issued December 31 and made available to The Maravi post, Unicef said that the New Year’s Day births projections were derived from District Health Information System II data (DHISII).

It further urged Malawians to enforce children’s rights to ensure their survival.

“As part of the New Year resolutions, Malawians must fulfill every right of a child from the most basic right of survival at birth.

“While a lot of families will be naming their babies, many will not even be named as they will not make it past their first day. Some will die from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery and infections like sepsis and pneumonia, a violation of their basic right of survival, “reads the statement in part:

The statement quotes Unicef Malawi acting representative Roisin De Burca as having said that one of the most effective ways of saving babies is through investing in their health.

“We can save hundreds of babies if we invest in training and equipping nurses, midwives, clinicians and hospitals so that every newborn is born into a safe, well-equipped environment,” says De Burca.

Unicef observes that in the past three decades, the world, including Malawi, has registered remarkable progress in children’s survival which has in turn seen a reduction in the number of children who die before age five by more than half.

A 2018 UN report titled ‘Levels and Trends in Child Mortality’ shows that under-five mortality rates in the country have dropped from 235 per 1 000 live births in 1990 to 55 per 1 000 live births in 2017.

However, the report reveals slow progress for newborns as they account for 43 percent of all deaths among children under five years of age.

But according to the statement, De Burca says there is more that can be done in ensuring that babies are given a chance to live beyond their first day by among others, ensuring a steady supply of clean water and electricity in health facilities, having skilled attendants and treating complications during pregnancy, delivery and at birth.

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