A newborn infant, or neonate, is a child under 28 days of age. During these first 28 days of life, the child is at the highest risk of dying. It is thus crucial that appropriate feeding and care are provided during this period, both to improve the child’s chances of survival and to lay the foundations for a healthy life.
Newborn or neonatal deaths account for 46% of all deaths among children under 5 years of age. The majority of all neonatal deaths (75%) occur during the first week of life, and about 1 million newborns die within the first 24 hours. The main causes of newborn deaths are prematurity and low-birth-weight, infections, asphyxia (lack of oxygen at birth) and birth trauma. These causes account for 80% of deaths in this age group.
In 2016, 46% of all under 5 child deaths were among newborn infants, babies in their first 28 days of life (the neonatal period) - up from 40% in 1990. Globally 2.6 million children died in the first month of life - approximately 7,000 newborn deaths every day with about 1 million dying on the first day and close to 1 million dying within the next 6 days. Children who die within the first 28 days of birth suffer from conditions and diseases associated with lack of quality care at birth or skilled care and treatment immediately after birth.
The vast majority of newborn deaths take place in developing countries where access to health care is low. Most of these newborns die at home, without skilled care that could greatly increase their chances of survival. Skilled health care during pregnancy, childbirth and in the postnatal (immediately following birth) period, prevents complications for mother and newborn, and allows for early detection and management of problems.
The Women’s Health and Education Center (WHEC), NGO in Special Consultative Status with Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, with its partners agree that a core principle underlying maternal, newborn and child health efforts is life-long access to health care: a continuum of care for the mother starting from long before pregnancy (during childhood and adolescence) through pregnancy and childbirth. The continuum begins again with adequate newborn care for the new life. The appropriate care can be delivered in the home and community, as well as at health clinics and hospitals.
The purpose of this section is to provide evidence-based solutions to prevent newborn deaths and stillbirths. It sets out a path to accelerate Sustainable Development and to achieve its goals by 2030, with specific global and national milestones. We hope, it provides a road map of strategic actions for ending, preventable newborn mortality and stillbirth. And also contributes to reducing maternal mortality and morbidity.
Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC)
Dedicated to Women's and Children's Well-being and Health Care Worldwide