Save the Children’s Saving Newborn Lives (SNL) program seeks to achieve equitable and effective coverage of high impact services and practices for newborns. SNL serves as a catalyst for action by working with governments and partners to put newborn health on global and national agendas and by advocating for increased availability and access to routine and emergency newborn care services and supplies, improved quality of newborn care services, and increased knowledge about and demand for newborn care. SNL also works to develop, apply, document, and sustain packages of effective evidence-based newborn care services and practices at scale.
This report examines the role of community health workers (CHWs) in the identification and referral of newborns with danger signs in pilot areas of four countries where SNL supported community-based maternal and newborn care packages – Malawi, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Uganda. To evaluate and compare systems of referral of newborns to the nearest health facility, we adapt and apply the Gilroy and Winch definition of facilitated referral, originally used to assess interventions for management of children with signs of pneumonia or malaria by CHWs. We also describe, based on available program data, the extent to which CHWs were able to identify and refer newborns.