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Global Health Leaders Gather to Address Urgent Crisis of Prematurity and Stillbirth
Date:4/21/2009

omen and new babies need access to care and medical attention to make this critical time as healthy and safe as possible," said Christopher Elias, M.D., M.P.H., president and CEO of PATH. "This conference is an excellent forum to begin a collaboration to find meaningful solutions and interventions for the challenges of prematurity and stillbirth. PATH is dedicated to ensuring that every newborn has the opportunity to thrive."

"Rich and poor countries have made remarkable progress over the past two decades in reducing child mortality around the world. Still, nearly four million newborns die each year. Many lives could be saved if we better understood how to prevent prematurity and stillbirth," said Charles MacCormack, Ph.D., president and CEO of Save the Children.

"Of the more than nine million under-five deaths annually, four million occur in the first 28 days of life," said Ann M. Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF. "A large proportion of these deaths occur because of premature birth. Premature babies who do survive, often suffer serious health problems."

"It is time to break the silence that surrounds stillbirths," said Daisy Mafubelu, WHO Assistant Director-General for Family and Community Health, and board member of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health. "Most of these deaths are avoidable and in many cases could be prevented through better care during childbirth."

GAPPS formed a Scientific Advisory Council of high-level representatives from international health agencies and academic centers to guide conference planning. The council provides objective oversight to the reviews, analyses and conference program.

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