Ending preventable newborn deaths in a generation

Nadia Akseer, Joy E. Lawn, William Keenan, Andreas Konstantopoulos, Peter Cooper, Zulkifli Ismail, Naveen Thacker, Sergio Cabral, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


The end of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) era was marked in 2015, and while maternal and child mortality have been halved, MGD 4 and MDG 5 are off-track at the global level. Reductions in neonatal death rates (age < 1 month) lag behind those for post-neonates (age 1-59 months), and stillbirth rates (omitted from the MDGs) have been virtually unchanged. Hence, almost half of under-five deaths are newborns, yet about 80% of these are preventable using cost-effective interventions. The Every Newborn Action Plan has been endorsed by the World Health Assembly and ratified by many stakeholders and donors to reduce neonatal deaths and stillbirths to 10 per 1000 births by 2035. The plan provides an evidence-based framework for scaling up of essential interventions across the continuum of care with the potential to prevent the deaths of approximately three million newborns, mothers, and stillbirths every year. Two million stillbirths and newborns could be saved by care at birth and care of small and sick newborns, giving a triple return on investment at this key time. Commitment, investment, and intentional leadership from global and national stakeholders, including all healthcare professionals, can make these ambitious goals attainable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S43-S48
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • MDGs
  • Mortality prevention
  • Newborn death
  • Stillbirth


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