Government of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) is celebrating National Newborn Week from 15 to 21 November 2020. The main objective of celebrating National Newborn Week is to create awareness about the importance of newborn child survival and development.

Significance to celebrate National Newborn Week

Every year around 2.6 million (26 lakh) babies die in the first 28 days. The first 28 days are considered crucial for child survival.

Current scenario of newborn survival in India

In 2013, around 0.75 million (7.5 lakh) neonates died in the country. The numbers are higher in spite of the fact that the Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) has declined from 44 per thousand live births in 2000 to 28 per thousand livebirths in 2013.

India has set a goal of reducing the under-5 mortality to 20 per thousand live births by 2035.

Essential cares of Newborn according to Ministry of Health

According to the MoHFW, the newborns should receive birth dose of Oral Polio Vaccine, BCG vaccine and Hepatitis vaccine. In the first hour of life, the newborns should receive eye care and Vitamin K. The other basic needs of new born are mother’s milk and prevention of infection.

Causes of newborn deaths in India

The major causes of newborn deaths are

  • pre-maturity (35 per cent)
  • intra-partum related complications (20 per cent)
  • neonatal infections (33 per cent)
  • congenital malformations (9 per cent)

Newborn Action Plan in India

Central Government launched Newborn Action Plan in response to global Every Newborn Action Plan in 2014. Every Newborn Action Plan was launched by WHO. The India Newborn Action Plan aims to reduce preventable newborn deaths. The GOI programme is built on 6 pillars namely pre-conception and antenatal care, immediate newborn care, care during labour and child birth, care of healthy newborn, care beyond newborn survival and care of small and sick newborn.

Mothers Absolute Affection programme

The nationwide programme was launched by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2016. Mothers Absolute Affection programme is a breastfeeding promotion programme. National Newborn Week celebrated National Newborn Week celebrated