GENEVA, May 16 (Xinhua) — More than 20 million babies were born with a low birthweight in 2015, around one in seven of all births worldwide, making it a major health challenge that requires more than doubling progress if previously set targets are to be met, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. “This is why reducing low birthweight requires an understanding of the underlying causes in a given country. The research warned that although close to three-quarters of low birthweight babies were born in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, the problem remains also substantial in high-income countries in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. In 2012, global nutrition targets were set at the World Health Assembly to include an ambitious 30 percent reduction in low birthweight prevalence between 2012 and 2025. Although estimates suggest some progress in reducing low birthweight between 2000 and 2015, the research recommended that to meet the global nutrition target would require more than doubling progress, involving both improved measurement and program investments to address the causes of low birthweight throughout the lifecycle.
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