An estimated 15,000 babies will be born in Pakistan on New Year’s day, accounting for 4 per cent of all babies born today globally, Unicef, the United Nations agency for children announced on Tuesday.
Of the 395,072 babies who will be born around the world on January 1, a quarter will be born in South Asia.
Internationally, half of these births are estimated to take place in eight countries, with Pakistan at fourth place.
Unicef estimates that babies born on Jan 1 in each country will come to:
- 69,944 in India
- 44,940 in China
- 25,685 in Nigeria
- 15,112 in Pakistan
- 13,256 in Indonesia
- 11,086 in the US
- 10,053 in Congo
- 8,428 in Bangladesh
It is expected that the year's first baby will be delivered in Fiji in the Pacific, while the United States will deliver the last.
Sydney will welcome an estimated 168 babies; Tokyo, 310; Beijing, 605 babies; Madrid, 166, and New York City, some 317 babies.
Around the world on the first day of 2019, families will welcome countless Alexanders, Ayeshas, Zixuans and Zainabs. But in several countries, many babies will not even be named as they won’t make it past their first day.
Read more: Unwanted lives
In 2017, about 1 million babies died the day they were born, and 2.5m died 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.
"This New Year's Day, let’s all make a resolution to fulfil every right of every child, starting with the right to survive," said Aida Girma, the Unicef representative in Pakistan.
"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."
2019 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.
Under the convention, among other things, governments have committed to taking measures to save every child by providing good quality health care.
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.
But there has been slower progress for newborns. Babies dying in the first month account for 47pc of all deaths among children under five.
Unicef’s 'Every Child Alive' campaign calls for immediate investment to deliver affordable, quality health care solutions for every mother and newborn.
These include a steady supply of clean water and electricity at health facilities, the presence of a skilled health attendant during birth, ample supplies and medicines to prevent and treat complications during pregnancy, delivery and birth as well empowering adolescent girls and women who can demand better quality of health services.