Millennium Development Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
Target: Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate
Each year, about 4 million children die within the first 28 days of life - the newborn or neonatal period. Given that these newborn deaths account for 37 per cent of all under-five deaths, improving neonatal survival is essential if MDG 4 - reduce child mortality - is to be reached.
Newborns in developing countries are 10 times more likely to die than newborns in industrialized countries. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have the highest neonatal mortality rates at 41 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to 3 deaths per 1,000 live births in industrialized countries.
A large proportion of the babies who die could be saved with low-tech, low-cost interventions, which would also help save the lives of mothers and prevent stillbirths.