Stillbirths: The vision for 2020

Robert L. Goldenberg, Elizabeth M. McClure, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, José M. Belizán, Uma M. Reddy, Craig E. Rubens, Hillary Mabeya, Vicki Flenady, Gary L. Darmstadt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

139 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Stillbirth is a common adverse pregnancy outcome, with nearly 3 million third-trimester stillbirths occurring worldwide each year. 98 occur in low-income and middle-income countries, and more than 1 million stillbirths occur in the intrapartum period, despite many being preventable. Nevertheless, stillbirth is practically unrecognised as a public health issue and few data are reported. In this final paper in the Stillbirths Series, we call for inclusion of stillbirth as a recognised outcome in all relevant international health reports and initiatives. We ask every country to develop and implement a plan to improve maternal and neonatal health that includes a reduction in stillbirths, and to count stillbirths in their vital statistics and other health outcome surveillance systems. We also ask for increased investment in stillbirth-related research, and especially research aimed at identifying and addressing barriers to the aversion of stillbirths within the maternal and neonatal health systems of low-income and middle-income countries. Finally, we ask all those interested in reducing stillbirths to join with advocates for the improvement of other pregnancy-related outcomes, for mothers and their offspring, so that a united front for improved pregnancy and neonatal care for all will become a reality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1798-1805
Number of pages8
JournalThe Lancet
Volume377
Issue number9779
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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