LONDON, Feb. 25(Xinhua) -- One million babies died on the first day of life in 2012 around the world, said a report released on Tuesday.
According to "Ending Newborn Deaths", a report released by the international non government organization "Save the Children", there were 1.2 million stillbirths during labour in 2012 around the world, and 2.9 million new born babies died within 28 days of birth, among which one million deaths were within 24 hours of birth.
The London-based organization promotes children's rights and provides supports to children in developing countries.
The report also said that 6.6 million children died before the age of five in 2012, mostly from preventable causes. Although the number has been almost halved since 1990, it still means that 18,000 children died every day.
Main causes of these deaths include premature birth, complications during birth and infections, the report said.
The key way to stop newborn deaths is to ensure that essential care, such as skilled, well-equipped birth attendant, will be provided during labour, delivery and immediately afterwards when the risks are greatest, according to the report.
Data provided by the report showed that 40 million women still gave birth without any help from a midwife or another health worker each year.
Ten countries with the highest rates of first-day deaths and stillbirths during labour are all from Asia and Africa. They are Pakistan, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Guinea-Bissau, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho and Angola.
Good news is that some countries and regions have been making great progress in reducing newborn deaths, such as China and Egypt, which have been seeing declines of over 60 percent between 1990 and 2012, the report said.
In 2012, the under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births) of China was 13.2, while the rate of neonatal death was 6.9, according to statistics released by National Health and Family Planning Commission of China.
Save the Children calls for the leaders of countries, philanthropists and private sectors to commit to a promise to end all preventable newborn deaths.
"Governments must ensure that by 2025 every birth is attended by trained and equipped health workers," said the report, "and increase expenditure on health to at least the World Health Organization's minimum of 60 U.S. dollars per capita to pay for the training, equipping and support of health workers, to ensure that no baby is born to die."
The target to end all preventable newborn and child mortality was set out in 2000 by the governments of the United States, Ethiopia and India, along with United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, in the "A Promise Renewed" movement, which is a global movement to end preventable child deaths and supported by 174 countries and regions.