Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Death rates in newborns remain shockingly high in Africa and India

Date:
August 31, 2011
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Neonatal mortality -- deaths in newborns, aged 3 weeks and under -- has declined in all regions of the world over the past two decades but in 2009, more than half of all neonatal deaths occurred in five countries -- India, Nigeria, Pakistan, China and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Neonatal mortality -- deaths in newborns, aged 3 weeks and under -- has declined in all regions of the world over the past two decades but in 2009, more than half of all neonatal deaths occurred in five countries -- India, Nigeria, Pakistan, China, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Furthermore, over the past 20 years, more than 4% of all babies born live in India died during the first month of life.

These shocking findings come from a comprehensive and detailed analysis led by Mikkel Z Oestergaard, from the World Health Organization and partners recently published in PLoS Medicine in which the authors used civil registration systems, household surveys, and other data sources to compile statistical models to estimate that in 2009, 3.3 million babies died during their first month of life compared to 4.6 million in 1990.

The authors also estimate that although the global neonatal mortality rate decreased from 33.2 to 23.9 deaths per 1000 live births (a decrease of 28%), neonatal mortality rate actually increased in eight countries, five of which were in Africa. Furthermore, in Africa as a whole, progress in improving neonatal mortality rates is slow and has only decreased by less than 1% per year, from 43.6 per 1000 live births in 1990 to 35.9 per 1000 live births in 2009.

Yet most neonatal deaths are preventable. The authors say: "The majority of neonatal deaths could be prevented with existing interventions including some that can be delivered at community level with potential to reduce neonatal deaths by one-third, such as improved hygiene at birth, breastfeeding, and simple approaches to keeping babies warm."

As there is currently no regular, reliable civil registration data from 92% of the world's births, the authors argue that regular annual reporting of neonatal mortality rates through the UN system should become routine, as is the case for under-five mortality rates. They say: "Many of the 79 million babies who died in the neonatal period since 1990 were born with little or no access to health services and in settings with little health information to drive health system improvement.

According to the authors, if Millennium Development Goal 4 target -- to reduce the number of deaths in children aged five and under by two thirds from 1990 levels by 2015 -- is to be achieved, national governments and international donors and organisations must invest in providing improved care at birth and during the first few weeks of life and in improving methods for measuring neonatal deaths and stillbirths.

The authors say. "If… this needless loss of life prevented, it is essential that national governments, international agencies, and civil society increase attention to systematically preventing and tracking neonatal deaths."

Funding: The study was supported by funding from WHO and grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Save the Children's Saving Newborn Lives program (JEL), SC, and to CHERG.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mikkel Zahle Oestergaard, Mie Inoue, Sachiyo Yoshida, Wahyu Retno Mahanani, Fiona M. Gore, Simon Cousens, Joy E. Lawn, Colin Douglas Mathers. Neonatal Mortality Levels for 193 Countries in 2009 with Trends since 1990: A Systematic Analysis of Progress, Projections, and Priorities. PLoS Medicine, 2011; 8 (8): e1001080 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001080

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Death rates in newborns remain shockingly high in Africa and India." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830193838.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2011, August 31). Death rates in newborns remain shockingly high in Africa and India. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830193838.htm
Public Library of Science. "Death rates in newborns remain shockingly high in Africa and India." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830193838.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins