28pc babies born with low birthweight in BD
AFP, Paris :
More than 20 million newborns in 2015 -- one in seven-came into the world weighing too little, according to a global assessment of birthweight, published Thursday.
|Over 90 per cent of babies tipping the scale at less than 2.5 kilos (5.5 pounds) when born were in low- and middle-income countries, researchers reported in The Lancet Global Health.
Worldwide, just under 15 per cent of 2015 newborns in the 148 countries canvassed had low birthweight, varying between 2.4 per cent in Sweden and nearly 28 percent in Bangladesh.
That's down from a global average of 17.5 per cent in 2000.
But meeting the World Health Organization target of cutting low birthweight 30 per cent between 2012 and 2025 "will require more than doubling the pace of progress," said lead author
Hannah Blencowe, a professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of low birthweight live births actually increased from 2000 to 2015, from 4.4 to 5 million. Southern Asia is estimated to have had 9.8 million in 2015, nearly half the world total.
Weighing less than 2.5 kilos at birth is closely linked to high rates of neonatal mortality and ill health later in life: more than 80 percent of the world's 2.5 newborns who die every year are low birthweight.
Underweight newborns who survive also have a greater risk of stunting as well as developmental and health problems, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.