Nepal’s Every Newborn Action Plan

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Nepal’s Every Newborn Action Plan (NENAP) sets a vision for the country “in which there are no preventable deaths of newborns or stillbirths, where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth celebrated, and women, babies and children survive, thrive and reach their full potential.” The vision is consolidated by ambitious targets to reduce mortality of newborns to below 11 per 1000 live births by 2035 from the current rate of 23, and to also reduce the stillbirth rate to below 13 stillbirths per 1000 total births from the current rate of 18. The plan is guided by the Universal Health Coverage approach adopted by the National Health Policy (2014) and is integrated within the broader National Health Sector Strategy (NHSS, 2015-2020). Importantly, it further cements the commitment of the
Government of Nepal and its partners for substantial improvement in the survival of mothers and newborns.

Considering that a large proportion of under-5 mortalities are newborn deaths, which are within the first 28 days after birth (the newborn period), increasing investment for improving the survival of newborns through universal access to evidence-based interventions is paramount. Informed by the barriers to deliver critical maternal and newborn interventions proposed by the Lancet 2014 Newborn Series, this plan adopts strategies and interventions to improve availability of quality newborn services at all levels of care, particularly for poor and vulnerable populations.

NENAP adopts four strategic directions or approaches outlined by NHSS: equity; quality; multi-sectoral approach and reform. It aspires towards universal health coverage by availing equitable quality health services, particularly at the most vulnerable times: in labour, during childbirth and in the first days of a newborn’s life. The plan recognises that a strengthened health system and persistent collaboration between diverse multi-sectoral actors are pre-requisites to deliver life-saving interventions. Thus, it reflects on the nine strategic objectives of the NHSS and highlights key actions to achieve the goals to reduce newborn mortalities and stillbirths by 2035.

Watch the congratulatory video:

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