Addressing Critical Knowledge Gaps in Newborn Health

2013 Global Newborn Health Conference

2013 Global Newborn Health Conference

Johannesburg, South Africa

April 15, 2013 - April 18, 2013
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Many of the world’s leading health experts will gathered for a global meeting in South Africa to bring attention to one of the world’s biggest health issues: nearly 3 million newborns dying worldwide from preventable and treatable causes.

The world has made progress in reducing newborn mortality, and to maintain this momentum, the US Government, through its flagship Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP); Save the Children; UNICEF; and partners convened the ‘Global Newborn Health Conference’ April 15-18, 2013, in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

The conference brought together researchers, policy-makers, health professionals and advocates from over 30 countries to review the progress that has been made towards reducing newborn deaths and assess what can be done to address this challenge in countries where the need is greatest.

The conference came at a critical moment to accelerate progress in newborn survival by galvanizing efforts to mobilize governments, donors, local partners and communities to make reducing newborn deaths a top priority. The 4-day meeting set the stage for informing the global community about what it takes to bring life-saving newborn care to scale.

Countries where political leadership has acted on strong scientific evidence in improving newborn survival will be highlighted, laying the groundwork for countries to develop their own newborn action plans that will serve as a roadmap for saving newborn lives.

The first global summit on newborns represents the “ringing of the start bell” for a comprehensive Every Newborn Action Plan now in development. The Every Newborn Action Plan will be carried out through the coordinated actions of a broad set of contributors, including governments, donors, the UN, civil society, private business and health professionals, supporting the broader goals of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health and the Every Woman Every Child movement led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. It will also put into action key targets and strategic shifts introduced by the Promise Renewed movement for child survival, now supported by over 50 countries around the world.

The conference aimed to:

  • Review progress of newborn survival and health programming over the past decade, including updates on global initiatives such as Every Woman Every Child and the Child Survival Call to Action, and lay out the Global Newborn Action Plan.

  • Provide technical updates on (a) evidence-based newborn health interventions across the household-to-hospital continuum that address the three major newborn killers; (b) updated global guidelines for specific interventions, such as newborn resuscitation and postnatal care; and (c) linkages with select maternal and child health, nutrition and family planning and related interventions.

  • Share in-country experiences in scaling-up newborn health interventions, including health system strengthening issues, such as partnership coordination, human resources, training, quality of care, logistics, supervision, pay for performance, community health workers and monitoring and evaluation.

  • Discuss research priorities for newborn health and promising new technologies and innovative tools that would support newborn health programming at scale.

Photo by the ONE Campaign and Living Proof