One million babies 'die within 24 hours of birth' each year

Improvements have been made over the past ten years with regard to child mortality due to immunisation and advances in family planning.

However, more than a million babies survive for no longer than 24 hours after being born, new research has revealed.

A report published by Save the Children found that many of these deaths could be prevented if access to support for maternal and newborn health was freely available all over the world.

Justin Forsyth, chief executive of the charity, said: "The first day of a child's life is the most dangerous and too many mothers give birth alone on the floor of their home or in the bush without any life-saving help."

Many of the fatalities are caused by infections, pre-eclampsia and damage inflicted during prolonged delivery.

In addition to this, around 1.2 million babies are stillborn every year.

Save the Children is calling on world leaders to work towards providing skilled health workers for areas in need in a bid to prevent high numbers of newborn deaths in the future.