Approximately 20,210 babies will be born in Nigeria on New Year’s Day, the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) said Friday.
A statement signed by Eva Hinds, Communication Specialist (UNICEF), said over half of these births are estimated to take place in nine countries worldwide, with Nigeria ranking third in the list.
Based on UNICEF list, India would have the highest number of children with 69,070, while China is expected to come second before Nigeria with 44,760 children.
Others in descending order of numbers of expected children are; Pakistan — 14,910; Indonesia — 13,370 and the United States of America — 11,280.
The rest are the Democratic Republic of Congo — 9,400; Ethiopia — 9,020 and Bangladesh — 8,370, the UN agency for children added.
Kiribati’s Christmas Island, a small island in the Pacific, will most likely welcome 2018’s first baby, while the United States, would welcome the last baby of the year, UNICEF said.
While many babies will survive, some will not make it past their first day.
In 2016, an estimated 2,600 children died every day of the year, on the day they were born.
For almost two million newborns, their first week was also their last. In all, 2.6 million children died before the end of their first month.
Among those children, more than 80 percent of all newborn deaths are due to preventable and treatable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis and pneumonia.
“This New Year, UNICEF’s global resolution is to help give every child more than an hour, more than a day, more than a month – more than survival,” said Terry Durnnian, Acting Representative of UNICEF Nigeria.
“We call on the government and partners to join the fight to save the lives of millions children by providing proven, low-cost solutions.”
Over the past two decades, the world has seen unprecedented progress in child survival, halving the number of children worldwide who die before their fifth birthday to 5.6 million in 2016. But despite these advances, there has been slower progress for newborns. Babies dying in the first month account for 46 percent of all deaths among children under five.