Portugal is among the top ten countries where it is safest for newly-born babies with one of the lowest neonatal mortality rates in the world, The Lancet reported on Tuesday.
While it was already well known that Portugal had one of the best infant mortality rates (children under 5), what The Lancet proved was that Portugal also has one of the best neonatal mortality rates (children under 28 days).
Portugal comes ninth in the list of the safest countries to be born in with 1.8 newly-born babies dying per 1,000 live births in 2012.
At the top of the list of 162 countries comes Japan with 1.1 deaths per 1,000 live births followed by Singapore, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, South Korea, Sweden, Norway and Slovenia, the last of which has the same rate as Portugal
Portugal ranked much higher than higher-income countries such as Switzerland (3.2); Canada (3.5); United States (4.1); Germany (2.4); New Zealand (2.8); United Kingdom (3); France (2.3); Australia (2.8); Netherlands (2.8); and Denmark (2.6).
At the extreme other end is Serra Leoa, with a neonatal mortality rate of 49.5 in every 1,000 births, almost one in twenty.
Guinea-Bissau and Angola are also among the 10 most dangerous places to be born with neonatal mortality rates of over 45 newly-born for every 1,000 births.
After Serra Leoa, eight of the other nine are sub-saharan countries Somalia, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Lesotho, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali Central African Republic and Ivory Coast — and then comes Pakistan.
Guinea-Bissau is the third most dangerous place for newly-born with a mortality rate of 45.7 per 1,000 births and then Angola, with a rate of 45.4.
Mozambique is another Portuguese-speaking country in the bottom 30, with a neonatal mortality rate of 30.2 per 1,000 live births with another 28.1 per thousand still-born.
Source: The Lancet Every Newborn Series