Ending Newborn Deaths: Ensuring every baby survives

This report shows that, in 2012, 2.9 million babies died within 28 days of being born: two out of every five child deaths. Of these, 1 million babies died within 24 hours. Causes of these deaths include premature birth, complications during birth and infections. This is heart-breaking and unacceptable. 

Unless we urgently start to tackle deaths among newborn babies, there is a real danger that progress in reducing child deaths could stall and we will fail in our ambition to be the generation that can end all preventable child deaths.

This report also reveals that the crisis is much bigger than we might think. In 2012 there were another 1.2 million tragic losses: stillbirths where the heart stopped beating during labour. These are not part of the fourth UN Millennium Development goal, which aims to reduce child mortality by two-thirds. However, they deserve to be counted in future maternal, newborn and child health frameworks, especially to understand the specific risks around labour and delivery. This report therefore focuses on the 2.2 million combined newborn deaths on the first day and stillbirths during labour.

There’s a huge amount at stake. As the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals approaches, it is vital that the world acts to make sure more countries can get on-track to achieve MDG4. It has now become clearer we won’t be able to do this unless we urgently tackle the crisis of newborn deaths. We won’t be able to go further and to talk about ending all preventable child deaths unless essential healthcare is the reality for every woman and baby.

Published 2014-03-24

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