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REUTERS/Mansi Thapliyal
Oh hello there, little one.
BLESSED WITH BABIES

India welcomed more babies on New Year’s Day than any other country

By Niharika Sharma

India welcomed more newborns than any other country in the world on New Year’s Day.

Around 67,385 babies, or 17% of the 392,078 infants born across the globe on Jan. 1 this year, were from the country, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) estimated. China (46,299), Nigeria (26,039) Pakistan (16,787), Indonesia (13,020) and the US (10,452) were the next in the list, it added.

Every year, the UN agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children around the world, celebrates babies born on New Year’s Day, one it deems auspicious.

One of the first children born in 2020 was from the Fiji islands. The US was projected to deliver the last one on Jan. 1.

UNICEF/UNI259364/Chute
Mitieli Digitaki was one of the first babies of 2020. Born to Laisani Raisili in Suva at 10 minutes after midnight in Fiji, Mitieli weighed 2.9 kg and is in good health.

Yet…

Unicef painted a dismal picture of the state of infants world over.

“For millions of newborns around the world, the day of their birth is far less auspicious,” the Unicef said. In 2018, around 2.5 million newborns died in their first month—about a third of them didn’t survive the first day.

“Babies dying in the first month accounted for 47% of all deaths among children under five in 2018, up from 40% in 1990,” it said. Among them, most died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis. Additionally, over 2.5 million babies are stillborn each year, Unicef said.