NPR

How One Country Drastically Cut Its Newborn Death Rate

A UNICEF report cites "alarmingly high" death rates for newborns in many countries. But Bangladesh stands out for its remarkable progress.
A newborn child in Bangladesh. Source: Karen Kasmauski

There were some glimmers of good news in an otherwise grim report released this week documenting the alarmingly high death rate of newborns worldwide: Bangladesh has managed to cut its newborn mortality rate from 64.2 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 20.1 per 1,000 today. That's 1 in every 50 births. By comparison, in neighboring Pakistan (which has the worst odds of any country) 1 in every 22 newborns doesn't survive.

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