Infant mortality has always been a concern the world over, but more so in India. In 2016, India had an 8% decline in infant mortality, which was an improvement from prior years. In 2017, a number of robust campaigns and thought-provoking advertisements have definitely aided to the cause, and have created positive ripples of hope across India for many families.
Newborn Care Week, which is in sync with this pivotal cause, is celebrated every year, with an aim to generate awareness and suggest the necessary measures to improve health of newborn babies, while boosting child survival rates.
It is extremely sad to see thousands of babies die every year due to sheer negligence or lack of knowledge. What most people don’t realise is that a newborn’s first four weeks are the most crucial.
Some of the most common causes for death among the newborn:
- Lack of oxygen for the baby
- Premature birth
- Delivery complications
- Birth defects
Observing Newborn Care Week is extremely important in helping curb diseases and disorders in children as well. Speech and hearing impairments are often caused due to careless handling, and irresponsibility on behalf of the parents or caretakers. The right prenatal care is essential for healthy pregnancy and for a healthy newborn.
What are some of the suggestive measures?
- Educating expectant mothers during pregnancy
- Basic care during pregnancy, besides nutrition counselling and supplementation of vitamins and iron
- Institutional/Hospital deliveries to be encouraged
- Early diagnosis of health issues in newborns and prompt referral to hospitals for the best care and treatment
- Timely vaccinations for the newborn
Each year, MBCN advocates various important measures around Newborn Care Week, which should not be ignored or left hanging. Ambiguity gives birth to despair, and taking precaution is the way forward, that can help us create a healthier world for our newborns, who have every right to live fit, wholesome lives.