A new report by the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UNIGME) stated that 6,05,000 neonatal deaths were reported in India last year, while the number of deaths among children between the ages 5-14 were estimated to be 1,52,000. Approximately, 8,02,000 infant deaths were reported in India during the last year, the lowest it has been in the last five years, according to UNIGME.
"India continues to show impressive decline in child deaths, with its share of global under-five deaths for the first time equalling its share of childbirths," said Yasmin Ali Haque, Representative, UNICEF India. She further stated that “the efforts for improving institutional delivery, along with countrywide scale up of special newborn care units and strengthening of routine immunization, have been instrumental towards this."
The number of infant deaths has reduced from 8.67 lakh in 2016 to 8.02 lakh in 2017. In 2017, sex-specific under-five mortality rate was 39 in 1,000 for male and 40 in 1,000 for females. The gender gap in child survival has reduced almost four-fold in the last five years. However, the report also states that an estimated 6.3 million children aged below 15 died in 2017. This leads to approximately 1 death every 5 seconds, mostly due to preventable causes, according to new mortality estimates released by United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Population Division and the World Bank Group. A vast majority of the deaths, approximately 5.4 million, occur in the first five years of life, with newborns accounting for almost half of these deaths.