The current state of newborn health in low income countries and the way forward

Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2006 Feb;11(1):7-14. doi: 10.1016/j.siny.2005.10.005. Epub 2005 Dec 22.


Of the 4 million neonatal deaths that occur worldwide each year 99% of these occur in developing countries. South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa regions account for two thirds of the global burden. Skilled professionals attend only 35% deliveries in South Asia and 41% in sub-Saharan Africa. Known, affordable interventions delivered through a rational mix of outreach, family/community and clinical services can reduce over 70% of all neonatal deaths. The Millennium Development Goal of reducing the mortality of children under 5 years by two thirds by the year 2015 from the 1990 baseline would require a substantial reduction in neonatal mortality in the next decade. For this, the low and middle-income countries must urgently review their existing programs, and design and implement improved, integrated action plans for maternal, newborn and child health. International community, including the academics, institutions and professional bodies in developed countries can play a crucial role to make this mission a success.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Asia
  • Child Health Services
  • Child, Preschool
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Developing Countries*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality / trends*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal Health Services
  • Morbidity / trends*
  • Poverty
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors