Addressing Critical Knowledge Gaps in Newborn Health

Antenatal Corticosteroids

Complications of prematurity are the largest cause of newborn death worldwide, claiming over one million lives annually. Antenatal corticosteroids (ACS) are a class of drugs which can reduce the risk of preterm death by more than 50% in facilities where ventilation support technologies are not available, and by roughly 30% even where advanced Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) are available.1

These drugs are among the best documented, most effective, safest, and least expensive interventions we have to reduce preterm deaths. Antenatal steroids are now identified by the UN-led Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children as an essential medicine that should be available everywhere.

The following collection of resources is designed to help inform and support increased implementation of antenatal corticosteroids around the world.

For questions or information not found on this resource page, please email the Antenatal Corticosteroids Working Group at

Browse the resources:

1. Mwansa-Kambafwile J, Cousens S, Hansen T, Lawn JE. Antenatal steroids in preterm labour for the prevention of neonatal deaths dur to complications of preterm birth. International Journal of Epidemiology 2010; 39: 1122-1133.

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