Newborn Health

Angel Light Nyangoma was born premature and cared for in the Saving Mothers, Giving Life-supported NICU in Kyenjojo Hospital, Uganda.
Angel Light Nyangoma was born premature and cared for in the Saving Mothers, Giving Life-supported NICU in Kyenjojo Hospital, Uganda.
Photo credit: Amy Fowler / USAID

 

When interventions are delivered during labor and childbirth and immediate newborn care is provided, up to 51 percent of newborn deaths can be avoided.

Globally, 2.5 million babies die during their first month of life, resulting in 46 percent of deaths among children under-5, and another 2.6 million babies are stillborn. Despite global reductions in under-5 mortality in the last decade, neonatal mortality rates have not decreased to the same extent, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

However, cost-effective interventions are known. When interventions are delivered during labor and childbirth and immediate newborn care is provided, there is a 51 percent reduction in newborn mortality and 70 percent of stillbirths are averted.

USAID’s Response

  • Increase access to quality care and services during labor, birth, and the first day and week of life. The time surrounding birth is a crucial period for an infant. USAID focuses on this key timeframe, working with private, public, and nonprofit partners to ensure that interventions have the greatest possible impact in reaching and providing care to women and newborns.
  • Harness the power of parents, families, and communities to promote optimal health and care-seeking behavior. A family’s decision to seek out care, a family’s ability to reach care, and the availability and quality of care once the family arrives at the health facility are all affected by the parents, families, and communities that surround the family in question. USAID works with each of these groups to remove barriers against accessing quality maternal and neonatal care, both of which are vitally important to saving the lives of newborns.
  • Monitor progress and outcomes for enhanced accountability. Regular data collection through surveys and built-in systems enables USAID and partner governments to track the success of programs and rapidly implement sustainable changes. Feedback systems make for responsive and effective health systems, which can be continuously improved to better fit the needs of newborns.

USAID's Impact

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Last updated: October 25, 2018

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