How to reach every newborn: three key messages

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The Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) launched on June 30–July 1, 2014, envisages a world without
preventable deaths of newborn infants. The challenge is not technical (effective interventions exist), but instead social. The odds of a child surviving the first month of life are grossly unequal, even within one country, and are affected by wealth, education, caste, and access to health care. Large gains are achievable when interventions reach people who are in need, but this rarely occurs. Without dedicated efforts to reach poor people, ENAP initiatives are likely to favor wealthier people who have the lowest mortality risk. We summarise lessons from an international workshop, New Evidence Supporting Equity in Newborn and Maternal Health in South Asia, held for researchers, policy makers, and practitioners in Kathmandu, Nepal, on May 8–9, 2014. Three key messages on how to reach poor people emerged—universalise, soft-target, and monitor.

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