Chlorhexidine cleansing of the umbilical cord in Nepal: leading by example and saving lives

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Each year, approximately 3 million newborn babies die before their first month of life, and almost all of these occur in low resource settings1 ; in Nepal alone, more than 20,000 newborns die annually. While Nepal has made great strides in reducing under-five mortality and is on track to meet Millennium Development Goal 4 (reduction of under-five mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015), progress in further reducing neonatal deaths requires greater efforts. In fact, the national neonatal mortality rate has declined more slowly than the infant and under-five mortality rates, and both the 2006 and 2011 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey, estimated approximately 33 neonatal deaths for every 1000 births in the 5 years period prior to each survey2-3 .

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