Every child ALIVE

The urgent need to end newborn deaths

Bikile Aljra, 20, breastfeeds while giving 'kangaroo mother care', a method of care for pre-term infants, to her daughter Leti, at a UNICEF-supported Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the remote Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia.


Imagine for a moment that you are about to give birth. You are at home, accompanied only by a few members of your family. You are in pain, but you have no access to a doctor, nurse or midwife. You know there is a real risk that both you and the baby you have been waiting to meet may not survive the birth. Even if you and the baby survive, you know that the coming days and weeks will be filled with danger. 

Imagine now that you are a midwife, preparing to deliver a premature baby. The health centre where you work has no running water, no electricity and few supplies. You are standing in the dark, your mobile phone clenched between your teeth, its dim glow the only light available to guide you. The mother before you is 16 years old. She is entering the active phase of labour. You are her only source of medical help and hope.

These scenarios illustrate the harsh reality faced by millions of mothers, babies and health workers around the world. It is a reality that we can and must change to keep EVERY CHILD ALIVE.

Every Child ALIVE report cover
UNICEF - Siobhan Devine and Guy Taylor
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