Babies born in the United Kingdom are more likely to die in the first month than if they were born than Latvia, Lithuania, Cuba or Montenegro.

These were the results of a Unicef analysis - ’Every Child Alive’ - that found every year, 2.6 million babies around the world die before they are a month old. In the UK, one in every 385 babies die within the first month of being born.

In response to the findings, Dr Clea Harmer, chief executive at Sands, said: “The rate of babies dying in the first month of life in the UK has remained almost static for three years with little progress on reduction. Many of them are born too early in pregnancy, but we don’t always know how to prevent prematurity. 

“Inequality continues to be an issue in England where there’s a noticeable north-south divide with the rate of babies who die in the first month of life in the north of England being almost double that of the rate in the south. Women who live in the most socially deprived areas are at higher risk of their newborns dying, and smoking is also a factor as 20% of women whose newborn dies are smokers.  

“Fundamentally though we need more focus on delivering vulnerable babies in the right place with the right care if we want to save more lives.”

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