Most of the three million children globally who die before they are a month old could be saved, if only they had quality healthcare at the time of birth, major new research has said.
At a cost of little more than one dollar per person, measures such as infection control and improved resuscitation techniques for newborns could save millions of lives, mostly in the world’s poorest countries, researchers said in The Lancet medical journal.
Newborn deaths account for 44 per cent of mortality among children under five years old – a larger proportion today than in 1990.
Dr Micky Chopra, head of UNICEF’s global health programmes, said that despite making progress on child mortality, the world had “stumbled… with the very youngest, most vulnerable children”.
“This group of children needs attention and resources,” he said. “Focusing on the crucial period between labour and the first hours of life can exponentially increase the chances of survival for both mother and child.”