SIXTEEN babies were born on New Year’s Day at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) in Honiara.
According to records from the Labour Ward, seven are females, while nine are males.
The first baby was born at 6am on 1st of January; the last at 11.15pm.
This record was only for babies born at the NRH.
The Solomon Star was unable to get the figures for those born in other hospitals and clinics across the country.
Meanwhile, UNICEF predicted that about 46 babies should have been born across Solomon Islands on New Year’s Day.
Across the Pacific, UNICEF says an estimated 740 babies will be born on New Year’s Day.
2019’s first baby was born at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva, Fiji, between 12 – 12.01am to proud mother Losena Adi Bale.
In the Pacific, estimated births on New Year’s Day include:
· Fiji -35
· Federated States of Micronesia – 7
· Kiribati – 9
· Papua New Guinea – 607
· Samoa – 13
· Solomon Islands – 46
· Tonga – 6
· Vanuatu – 19
Around the world, it would be:
1. India — 69,944
2. China — 44,940
3. Nigeria — 25,685
4. Pakistan — 15,112
5. Indonesia — 13,256
6. The United States — 11086
7. The Democratic Republic of Congo — 10,053
8. Bangladesh — 8,428
UNICEF says in 2017, about 1 million babies died the day they were born, and 2.5 million 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 Day, let’s all make a resolution to fulfill every right of every child, starting with the right to survive,” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Pacific Representative.
“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 also 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, governments committed to, among other things, 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 47 per cent 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, and empowered adolescent girls and women who can demand better quality of health services.
“Thirty years after world leaders committed to preserving children’s rights, we’re still losing newborns because of who they are or where they are from, Mr Yett said.
“This year, we should renew our efforts to give every baby in the Pacific islands a chance to survive, to laugh, to cry, to play, to grow – to have a name and to have life.”
By CHARLES KADAMANA