A quarter of all babies born on January 1, 2019 will do so in Southeast Asia. UNICEF remembers that a million children do not spend their first day of life and most die from causes that could be avoided with little money.
Some 395,072 babies will be born around the world on New Year's Day, according to UNICEF estimates. Of all of them, a quarter will be born in Southeast Asia.
This dawn is welcomed not only in 2019, but thousands of small new inhabitants. As the clock ticks at midnight, Sidney receives 168 babies, followed by 310 in Tokyo, 605 in Beijing, 166 in Madrid and 317 in New York.
The first baby of the year was born in Fiji in the Pacific; and the last one will come to the world in, Hawaii, United States.
Half of all births will take place in eight countries:
United States: 11,086
Democratic Republic of the Congo: 10,053
Mortality in newborns
In many countries, babies do not get a name because they do not go beyond their first day of life. In 2017, one million babies died on the day of their birth and 2.5 million did not live more than a month. Most died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications in childbirth and infections such as sepsis and pneumonia.
"On this New Year's Day, let's all do the purpose of fulfilling all the rights of all children, starting with the right to survive," said Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, UNICEF's deputy executive director. "We can save thousands of lives if we invest in training and equip local health workers so that all children reach the world with a pair of safe hands."
Babies born in Japan (where only 1 in every 1,111 dies), Iceland (1 in 1,000) and Singapore (1 in 909) have the best chance of survival, while the figures in a recent UNICEF report show that Newborns from Pakistan (1 in 22), the Central African Republic (1 in 24) or Afghanistan (1 in 25) face the worst odds.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, Cuba is the country with the female survival rate (with one death for every 417 births), followed by Antigua and Barbuda, Uruguay, Chile, Costa Rica and Argentina. Haiti and the Dominican Republic have the worst figures.
2019 will also mark the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child , a milestone that UNICEF will commemorate with events around the world during the next 12 months.
In the last three decades, the world has made great progress in child survival, by reducing deaths by more than half before five years . But progress for newborns has been slower. Babies who die in the first month of life account for 47% of all those who die with less than five years.
The Every Life Counts campaign calls for an immediate investment in affordable, quality health measures for every mother and every baby; for example, clinics with clean water and electricity, the presence of trained medical personnel, medications and equipment to treat complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
Source: UN Children's Fund