Count every newborn; a measurement improvement roadmap for coverage data

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2015;15 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):S8. doi: 10.1186/1471-2393-15-S2-S8. Epub 2015 Sep 11.


Background: The Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP), launched in 2014, aims to end preventable newborn deaths and stillbirths, with national targets of ≤12 neonatal deaths per 1000 live births and ≤12 stillbirths per 1000 total births by 2030. This requires ambitious improvement of the data on care at birth and of small and sick newborns, particularly to track coverage, quality and equity.

Methods: In a multistage process, a matrix of 70 indicators were assessed by the Every Newborn steering group. Indicators were graded based on their availability and importance to ENAP, resulting in 10 core and 10 additional indicators. A consultation process was undertaken to assess the status of each ENAP core indicator definition, data availability and measurement feasibility. Coverage indicators for the specific ENAP treatment interventions were assigned task teams and given priority as they were identified as requiring the most technical work. Consultations were held throughout.

Results: ENAP published 10 core indicators plus 10 additional indicators. Three core impact indicators (neonatal mortality rate, maternal mortality ratio, stillbirth rate) are well defined, with future efforts needed to focus on improving data quantity and quality. Three core indicators on coverage of care for all mothers and newborns (intrapartum/skilled birth attendance, early postnatal care, essential newborn care) have defined contact points, but gaps exist in measuring content and quality of the interventions. Four core (antenatal corticosteroids, neonatal resuscitation, treatment of serious neonatal infections, kangaroo mother care) and one additional coverage indicator for newborns at risk or with complications (chlorhexidine cord cleansing) lack indicator definitions or data, especially for denominators (population in need). To address these gaps, feasible coverage indicator definitions are presented for validity testing. Measurable process indicators to help monitor health service readiness are also presented. A major measurement gap exists to monitor care of small and sick babies, yet signal functions could be tracked similarly to emergency obstetric care.

Conclusions: The ENAP Measurement Improvement Roadmap (2015-2020) outlines tools to be developed (e.g., improved birth and death registration, audit, and minimum perinatal dataset) and actions to test, validate and institutionalise proposed coverage indicators. The roadmap presents a unique opportunity to strengthen routine health information systems, crosslinking these data with civil registration and vital statistics and population-based surveys. Real measurement change requires intentional transfer of leadership to countries with the greatest disease burden and will be achieved by working with centres of excellence and existing networks.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / supply & distribution
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use
  • Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data
  • Chlorhexidine / therapeutic use
  • Delivery, Obstetric / standards
  • Delivery, Obstetric / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant Care / standards
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infections / therapy
  • Kangaroo-Mother Care Method / standards
  • Kangaroo-Mother Care Method / statistics & numerical data
  • Perinatal Death / prevention & control
  • Perinatal Mortality*
  • Postnatal Care / standards
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth / therapy
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Resuscitation / standards
  • Resuscitation / statistics & numerical data
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Stillbirth
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Umbilical Cord / microbiology


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Chlorhexidine