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Babies born in Ireland in 2019 can expect to live until 2101

Ireland is one of only 28 countries where 2019 babies will likely live until the 22nd century

Image: Shutterstock/Olga Max

BABIES BORN IN Ireland in 2019 can expect to live until 2101, Unicef said today.

This means Ireland is one of only 28 countries worldwide where 2019 babies will likely live until the 22nd century.

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.

However, there has been slower progress for newborns. Babies dying in the first month account for 47% of all deaths among children under five. In 2017, about one million babies died the day they were born, and 2.5 million in their first month of life.

Unicef Ireland Executive Director Peter Power said: “At current life expectancy rates, a child born in Ireland in January 2019 is likely to live until the 22nd century.

“Unfortunately, nearly half of all children born this year around the world likely won’t have the same positive future. A child born in Ireland in January 2019 is most likely to live to 2101, while a child from Somalia would be unlikely to live beyond 2077.”

175 babies born today 

In Ireland, an estimated 175 babies will be born today, a tiny fraction of the 395,072 babies estimated to be born around the world on New Year’s Day.

Unicef’s Every Child Alive campaign calls for immediate investment to deliver affordable, quality healthcare 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.

Of the children who die, most do so from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis and pneumonia – which Unicef said is “a violation of their basic right to survival”.

2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Under the convention, governments committed to, among other things, taking measures to save every child by providing good quality healthcare.

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Órla Ryan

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