Health Policy and Planning recently published a supplement, A Decade of Change for Newborn Survival, that shares a multi-country analysis of the changes in newborn care and survival from 2000-2010. The supplement also includes 5 detailed country case studies (Bangladesh, Malawi, Nepal, Pakistan, and Uganda) focused on the process of taking solutions to scale. In one of the papers, Gary Darmstadt et al describe the state of neonatal health in the world today versus a decade ago and the persistent disparities between those countries that have improved its newborn mortality rates and those that have not.
[pullQuote position=”center”]Progress in improving newborn survival has been slow and the global averages hide increasing regional, national and subnational disparities. For sub-Saharan Africa, on average, there has been no statistically significant change in neonatal mortality over the past decade. Without a dramatic change in the trajectory for Africa it is estimated that it will take over 150 years for an African newborn to have the same chance of survival as one born in Europe or North America (Oestergaard et al. 2011). In sharp contrast, five African countries have reduced neonatal deaths by over 25%, more than double their neighbours. Important lessons emerge from this supplement, especially around seizing opportunities to promote community-based newborn care, and to integrate newborn care interventions into frontline health worker delivery platforms, and especially into facility-based maternity care, which is already being scaled up (Mbonye et al. 2012; Zimba et al. 2012).[/pullQuote]
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