One crucial omission in global health research and policy has been the health of newborns. While the infant and the mother have been at the centre of efforts to protect early childhood, the newborn period has been relatively neglected. This marginalisation is difficult to square with the bare numbers: 8 million children are either stillborn or die each year within the first month of life.
"The aim of the present Lancet series is to erase the excuse of ignorance for public and political inaction once and for all. If we now continue to fail children under threat, we will be delivering a verdict of wanton inhumanity against ourselves. We will be a knowing party to an entirely preventable mass destruction of human life. The weapon that will be wielded in this crime will not be a bomb, a biological agent, or an aeroplane. It will be something far more sinister—withdrawal from the universe of human reason and compassion into a national solipsism that degrades the values that we claim to revere."