The lives of three million mothers and newborn babies could be saved every year if they received proper healthcare, especially during birth, according to a new Lancet report.
This is according to medical journal The Lancet, which released a special series on newborns in New York yesterday.
Pre-term births, labour complications like suffocation, and infections including sepsis are the leading causes of deaths among babies 28 days after birth.
“The day of birth is the most dangerous for mothers and their babies, and results in more than 40 percent of maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths,” according to The Lancet. “Universal coverage of maternal and newborn care would avert 59 percent of maternal deaths, 73 percent of newborn deaths, and 35 percent of stillbirths.”
Access to proper care at birth and in the following 28 days- at a cost of around R12 per person – could save the lives of three million mothers and their newborn babies, as well as prevent stillbirths and disability.
Deaths at the birth alone could be halved if mothers and newborns had access to skilled health workers and emergency care, including newborn resuscitation.
The world’s most dangerous places for newborns
About R12 per person could save 3m mothers, babies
Newborns are most likely to die in the Central African Republic, Mali, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Lesotho.
The most common causes of death related to a shortage of health workers and resources. Less than three percent of babies in countries with high mortality rates had access to intensive care units.
But some poor countries had made good progress by training more midwives and nurses, upgrading their skills and giving incentives to rural health workers. These include China, Indonesia, Rwanda and Malawi.
“No woman or baby should die needlessly,” concludes The Lancet. “To translate this into reality needs more investment, more medicines, and more health workers, including midwives and nurses with the skills and autonomy to provide the right care for every woman and every newborn baby.”
The World Health Assembly currently meeting in Geneva discussed the plight of newborns this week and every country is expected to develop an action plan with concrete country-based goals to reduce deaths.
Health-e News Service
Source : Health-e