Addressing the challenge of neonatal mortality

Trop Med Int Health. 2013 Mar;18(3):303-12. doi: 10.1111/tmi.12048. Epub 2013 Jan 4.


Reducing neonatal mortality remains a challenge with an estimated 3.0 million neonatal deaths in 2011, three-quarters of these in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. The leading causes of neonatal death globally are complications of preterm birth, intrapartum-related causes and infections. While post-neonatal, under-5 deaths fell by 47% between 1990 and 2011, neonatal deaths only fell by 32% and they now account for 43% of all under-5 child deaths. This article reviews the progress in reducing neonatal deaths in high-burden countries and presents an overview of known effective interventions to reduce neonatal mortality and the challenges faced in implementing these in high-burden settings. Effective action is possible to reduce neonatal mortality, but innovative approaches to implementation will be required if these preventable deaths are to be avoided.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Case Management / organization & administration
  • Global Health*
  • Health Plan Implementation
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality / trends*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infection Control / methods
  • Infection Control / organization & administration
  • Perinatal Care / methods
  • Perinatal Care / organization & administration
  • Risk Factors