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Fact of the week



16%: The proportion of low birthweight deliveries in the developing world during 1999-2006

Millennium Development Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
Target: Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate

Reducing neonatal deaths requires improving women's health during pregnancy, providing appropriate care for both mother and newborn during and immediately after birth, and caring for the baby during the first weeks of life. Cost-effective, feasible interventions include initiating breastfeeding within one hour of birth, ensuring proper cord care, keeping the baby warm, recognizing danger signs and seeking care, and giving special care to infants with low birthweight. A continuum of care from pregnancy to early childhood should link community based programmes to strengthened health systems.

Efforts to develop a core set of indicators to monitor newborn care interventions are under way. But more work is needed to finalize these indicators for inclusion in household surveys.

UNICEF, Progress for Children, A World Fit for Children Statistical Review, 2007, New York, December 2007

Source: UNICEF global databases, 2007. Key interventions: Darmstadt, G.L., et al., 'Evidence-based, cost-effective interventions: How many newborns can we save?' The Lancet, vol. 365, no. 9463, 12 March 2005, pp. 977–988.



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