What are some other key issues in newborn health?

While a majority of neonatal mortality is related to three main causes (preterm birth, complications during birth and severe infections), a host of other factors contribute to maternal and newborn health outcomes.

Chief among these are whether women and children have access to the services they need in the right place and throughout the continuum of care. Also important is whether care is effectively delivered at scale and is of sufficient quality to make a difference. To address these issues, policymakers, practitioners, and researchers must consider the degree of community engagement; the context in which healthcare services are delivered (including in fragile states or during emergencies); and how best to train, deploy, and support service providers.


Achieving equity in healthcare requires a commitment to monitoring health inequalities, which in turn requires strong health information systems. This issue deserves serious attention if we want a world where every person enjoys a basic standard of wellbeing.


Ensuring that high-quality programs reach mothers and newborns requires sustained commitments and actions by multiple partners at national, regional, and global levels. It also requires technical leadership, advocacy, and progress measurement.

Quality improvement

Quality improvement will play an important role in consolidating the gains from the Millennium Development Goals and improving patient-focused care to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.


mHealth, or the use of mobile information and communications technology, has the potential to support health programs by making information more accessible and timely, especially to populations in hard-to-reach areas.

Community engagement

Engaged communities where ordinary citizens have a voice in decisions that affect them are crucial. Community engagement increases the impact of health programs and improves the likelihood of sustainability.

Newborn health in emergencies

Pregnant women and newborns are especially vulnerable during complex humanitarian emergencies. We must find ways to deliver evidence-based, quality services during all phases of the emergency response.


Each year, an estimated 2 million stillbirths occur – more than 5,300 each day – and nearly half occur in labor and birth. While most of these are preventable, stillbirth has been overlooked as a global public health problem.

Human resources for health

Paying close attention to monitoring and improving health systems and human resources inputs, processes, and outputs will facilitate progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals related to maternal and child health.