Operationalizing management of sick young infants with possible serious bacterial infection (PSBI) when referral is not feasible in the context of existing maternal, newborn, and child health programmes

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It is estimated that as many as 600 000 newborns die each year from serious infection, and that most of these deaths could be averted by preventive measures, timely careseeking, treatment with appropriate antibiotics and follow up. Approximately 10% of newborn infants develop signs of possible serious bacterial infection (PSBI)1 and require antibiotics. Currently it is WHO policy that countries treat sick young infants (from birth up to 2 months of age) with PSBI or very severe disease by referring these infants to hospitals where additional expertise, necessary medicines, procedures and supportive care should be available. However, many sick young infants do not receive the urgent treatments that would save their lives.

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