Birth outcomes have improved dramatically worldwide in the past 40 years. Yet there is still a large gap between the outcomes in developing and developed countries. This book addresses the steps needed to reduce that gap. It reviews the available statistics of low birth weight, prematurity, and birth defects; reviews current knowledge and practices of a healthy pregnancy, identifies cost-effective opportunities for improving birth outcomes and supporting families with an infant handicapped by birth problems, and recommens priority research, capacity building, and institutional and global efforts to reduce adverse birth outcomes in developing countries. The committee has based its study on data and information from several developing countries, and provides recommendations that can assist the March of Dimes, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and NIH in tailoring their international program and forging new partnerships to reduce the mortality and morbidity associated with adverse birth outcomes.
Copyright 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.