How much do you really know when it comes to the unacceptable toll of newborn deaths, around the world?
Did you know that nearly 3 million newborns die each year globally?
Did you know that 99% of these newborns die in low- and middle-income countries?
Did you know that a newborn is 45X times more likely to die in the first month of life, when compared to age 1 month to 5 years?
Did you know that the major causes of newborn death are prematurity, infection, and birth asphyxia when a baby’s brain and other organs do not get enough oxygen before, during or right after birth are?
Did you know that complications of preterm birth are the second leading cause of death in children before their fifth birthday?
And, did you know that the majority of these newborn deaths can be prevented?
Per Dr. Gary Darmstadt of the Gates Foundation:
“For too long these facts and more–what we call the global newborn health agenda–have been off the radar. While the world has seen progress in addressing childhood illnesses in poorer countries, including pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea, we haven’t seen nearly as much progress in tackling newborn deaths, which now account for about 40 percent of the deaths of children under age 5 around the world”.
Despite a decrease of 26 per cent in under five mortality and 23 per cent in infant mortality, Afghanistans health indicators remain one of the worst in the world. Photo Credit: UN Photo/Fardin Waezi.
I personally will never forget my own experience. My newborn daughter was only hours old, being examined by my pediatrition when my doctor came in to inform me that my brand new baby had turned blue and stopped breathing. Miraculously, she regained her breath and color within seconds yet had to remain in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for two days. Afterwards while I recovered and worried, she went from blue to yellow and had to stay a week longer in the hospital with jaundice. Thanks to modern technology, we were able to leave the hospital healthy after a week.
Forty-one years ago my own mother had a similar scare when I was born a month premature with a heart defect. Fearing the worst, I stayed in the hospital for a month and was able to leave but was not flourishing and would possibiliy need open heart surgery to repair the defect. Once again, a miracle occurred and my heart adapted and adjusted allowing me to grow up healthy enjoying a highly active life.
A member of our team, The Global Team of 200, Kristine McCormick lost her own beautiful newborn, Cora, back in 2009 and today has become an important advocate for newborn health.
Watch this precious YouTube Video of Kristine and Cora’s story:
How to get involved:
- Retweet daily “Did You Know?” facts from Dr. Gary Darmstadt (@gdarmsta), Director of the Family Health Division of the Gates Foundation.
- Follow hashtag #newborn2013
- Follow the event: Global Newborn Health Conference (newborn2013.com) being held April 15 – 18, 2013 in South Africa. Supporters of the conference are: (@mchipnet,@gatesfoundation @unicef,@savethechildren and @usaid) along with additional supporters (@jhpiego,@jsihealth, @laerdalmedical). They will all be tweeting facts from the #newborn2013 hashtag.
“Did you know facts”? – Gates Foundation, Impatient Optimists, “What You Might Not Know About Saving Newborn Lives” by Gary Darmstadt, Cyril Engmann.
“Continuing the Newborn Health and Survival Conversation #Newborn2013” – Mom Bloggers for Social Good