Last year, at the Global Newborn Health Conference in Johannesburg began working on improving newborn health and survival worldwide. One child’s death, is one child too many. Over 2.9 million newborns die within their first month of life. 2.9 million. 2.9 million moms and dads bury their children before their lives even begin to start.
After all the great work in the Global Newborn Health Conference, there is now a draft of the Every Newborn Action Plan. Newborns and their survival is top on the agenda of the Gates Foundation, World Health Organization,UNICEF and others. This draft was discussed during the 134th session of the World Health Organization Executive Meeting in January. Through the end of February, they are welcoming comments, suggestions and ideas from concerned individuals and mothers from around the world. That’s you!
The Every Newborn Action Plan introduces five strategic objectives:
- Strengthen and invest in care during labor, childbirth, and the first day and week of life
- Improve the quality of maternal and newborn care
- Reach every woman and every newborn to reduce inequities
- Harness the power of parents, families and communities
- Count every newborn – measurement, program tracking, and accountability
Each of these objectives has proposed actions to ensure there is a clear path to achieve success. We know that successful goals are SMART – Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Each one of the objectives in the Every Newborn Action Plan is SMART – and more. The Plan is transparent – you can read it for yourself.
The plan suggests key strategies that must be done to reduce newborn mortality:
- increased funding for maternal and newborn health, especially in low-income and low-resource areas
- countries need to provide their citizens with quality care for both mother and child
- countries must increase or create front line health workers that care for mothers and newborns
- more community support for mothers and newborns
- affordable prenatal and postnatal care with access to delivering in health facilities
Did you know Ethiopia – a low-income country – improved the health and lives of their children? They took research and recommendations from the global health community and, together with the government, health extension workers, and the health development army — REDUCED THEIR CHILD MORTALITY RATE by 67%!
No family should have to experience the pain of burying a newborn or child. No family.
How can you help? Read the Every Newborn Action Plan and then share your thoughts, ideas, and recommendations through the end of February. You can also tweet your comments to @HealthyNewborns.
2.9 million babies die within the first month of life accounting for 44% of under-five mortality, and an additional 2.6 million babies are stillborn