By Jerker Liljestrand, Senior Program Officer of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Midwives have supported women during childbirth since ancient Egyptian times, and today, in many parts of the world, they are providing a unique set of lifesaving services for mothers and babies. Midwives are trained with a … Continued
Governments could substantially reduce the tragic death toll of infants and mothers by making postnatal care services more accessible – especially to impoverished and poorly educated women in rural areas, according to a study.
Save the Children said that in 78 percent of the 87 low and middle income countries it analyzed in its “Lottery of Birth” report, at least one social or economic group was lagging behind and making slower progress in reducing child mortality.
“This marks a turning of the tide, a transition from infections to neonatal conditions, especially those related to premature births, and this will require entirely different medical and public health approaches.”
“We have an epidemic of preterm and newborn deaths that represents one of the greatest health challenges of the 21st century. Two-thirds of these deaths could be prevented without intensive care,” said Francisco.
To learn more, Goats and Soda spoke with report co-author Robert Black, the director of the Institute for International Programs at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.
The rise in deaths from preterm birth complications actually coincides with a dramatic decline in the worldwide mortality rate of children under five.
Retention of midwives, especially in rural areas, is a major challenge for many countries, one that threatens to negate all the hard work and resources invested in their training.
The Health Ministry of Nepal has renewed its commitment to dedicate more efforts towards decreasing infant mortality in the country, said Dr Padam Bahadur Chand of the ministry at Every Newborn consultation in Kathmandu.
Despite the well documented benefits of breastfeeding worldwide, only 39 per cent of children aged less than six months were exclusively breastfed in 2012. This global figure has improved very little for the past several decades.