The rise in deaths from preterm birth complications actually coincides with a dramatic decline in the worldwide mortality rate of children under five.
“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.
In Bangladesh many infants are born at home and deliveries are often conducted by unskilled birth attendants and care provided during labour, delivery and the immediate postnatal periods are often unhygienic or include harmful practices.
Save the Children country offices will join more than 200 non-government organizations, UN agencies, medical and health organizations across the world in participating in the 4th World Prematurity Day (WPD).
Speakers said that although maternal and newborn health are inextricably linked, program efforts addressing the health of mothers and infants are often planned, managed, and delivered separately.
Innovators worldwide receive seed grants to help Bangladesh garment workers express, store breast milk, assist with childbirths in remote areas via mobile telecommunications, stabilize vaccines without refrigeration, produce snacks from rice bran waste to fight children’s iron deficiency.
New data released today by the United Nations show that under-five mortality rates have dropped by 49% between 1990 and 2013.
“These studies revealed that improving people’s health and strengthening health systems required investing in health-enhancing sectors such as education, water and sanitation, social protection, and infrastructure development.”