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Save the Children report shows global health funding often ignores newborn babies
Date:6/12/2012

edical journal, Health Policy and Planning. Sixty main authors and 90 contributors collaborated for three years on a first-of-its-kind analysis of newborn health around the world and what is needed to speed up progress on ending newborn deaths. From 2000 to 2010 newborn deaths dropped from 3.7 million to 3.1 million annually.

The report shows political will to reach the poorest families with the most effective interventions for newborn health has had dramatic results in low-income countries such as Bangladesh, Malawi and Nepal. All three are on track to meet the 2015 target of Millennium Development Goal 4 of reducing child deaths by two thirds since 1990, and all have reduced newborn deaths at about double the rate of neighboring countries.

African families have the highest risk of newborn deaths and it would take 150 years at current rates of progress to achieve newborn death rates on par with the United States and Europe.

Other report findings include:

  • Maternal mortality is declining faster than before, but newborn mortality is declining at half that rateshowing that improved maternity services are not enough to combat threats to newborn survival. Declines in newborn mortality rates are also 30 percent slower than those of children under 5 who survive the newborn period.
  • From 2003 to 2008, official development assistance doubled for maternal, newborn and child health in the 68 countries with the most newborn deaths, but only 6 percent of this funding mentioned the word "newborn" and only 0.1 percent included specific newborn care interventions.
  • Family planningi.e., increased access to voluntary contraceptionhas led to reductions in newborn deaths, which often relate to too short a time between births or the youth of a mother. Prime examples are Nepal and Bangladesh, where the average number of babies per woman has been reduced by 50 percent.
  • 10 countriesincluding India and Ethiopiaaccount f
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Contact: Tanya Weinberg
tweinberg@savechildren.org
202-247-6610
Save the Children
Source:Eurekalert

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