Article Abstract

The global challenges of improving newborn survival in the community

Authors: Karsten Lunze, Davidson H. Hamer


While substantial progress has been achieved over the past decade for global newborn survival, reductions of deaths during the first month of life lag behind improvements in overall mortality of children under five. Nearly 3 million newborns still die every year; 99% of these deaths occur in low-resource countries (1). Southeast Asia, including the Indian subcontinent, accounts for almost one-third of global mortality in neonates and children under 5 years of age (2). The major causes of neonatal mortality worldwide are intrapartum complications (birth asphyxia), severe infections, and complications due to prematurity (3). Most of these are preventable with currently available interventions. These global statistics thus suggest that interventions preventing these deaths, i.e., emergency obstetrical and newborn care including neonatal resuscitation, antibiotics for treatment of infections, and measures to prevent hypothermia are not being effectively implemented.