May 8 - India has the highest number of babies who die within a day of their birth, the charity Save the Children says. Paul Chapman reports.
A new report by "Save the Children" says more babies die in India on the very day they were born than anywhere else in the world. That's 309,000 children whose lives end within 24 hours of their birth every year. Low birth weights and infections are being blamed but health care is another factor. One woman said her baby died after she was turned away from a hospital because of overcrowding. (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) HASEENA, MOTHER OF CHILD THAT DIED, HASEENA, SAYING: "He was weak but the doctor never told us anything. When we took him to another hospital they took him. They came back an hour later and said that if we had brought him half an hour earlier he could have been saved." Save the Children head Carolyn Miles says there are inexpensive solutions that could cut the number of deaths by three quarters. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT AND CEO OF SAVE THE CHILDREN, CAROLYN MILES, SAYING: "There are actually four key interventions that are very inexpensive. They are between 0.35 cents and 6 U.S. dollars. They are things like Chlorhexidine for cord care, there are antibiotics for infections, they are making sure that the child has the prenatal care that they want and need. So those are a few of the things that have to happen and it's really about getting the care closer to where the children are dying." The report also underscores another disturbing figure. It says that of the seven million children world-wide who die before they reach five, nearly half are less than one month old.