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WHO: 20 Million Babies are Born Underweight Annually

WHO: 20 Million Babies are Born Underweight Annually

Saturday, 18 May, 2019 - 05:30
Geneva - London - Asharq Al-Awsat
The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that there is no remarkable decline in the number of babies born underweight.

According to WHO experts, more than 20 million babies are born with a low birthweight (less than 2500g), around 15 percent of the babies born alive.

The study published in Geneva and conducted by researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the UNICEF, showed the rate of babies born underweight was 17.4 percent in 2000.

In their study, the researchers said a remarkable drop in the number of babies born underweight should be seen in order to meet the WHO targets, the German News Agency (DPA) reported.

Experts consider babies' weight an important index on a population's public health. Therefore, the WHO has sought to cut the number of babies born underweight by 30 percent between 2012 and 2025.

In their study published in the journal The Lancet Global Health, the researchers said "to meet the target, the number of those babies must drop by 2.74 percent annually, but, the current annual decline rate is 1.23 percent."

The study also involved the babies born prematurely.

The authors highlighted that the situation is particularly difficult in southern Sudan, where the rate of the babies born with a low birthweight was 26.4 percent in 2015, compared with 14 percent in sub-Saharan Africa. But they pointed out that many of the data obtained in this regard from these countries, is inaccurate.

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