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January 2007

Integrated, Evidence-Based Approaches to Save Newborn Lives in Developing Countries

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007;161(1):99-102. doi:10.1001/archpedi.161.1.99

Global attention is shifting toward the world's 4 million annual neonatal deaths, which have remained fairly constant even as successful child survival programs have reduced child deaths in the world's poorest countries. Neonatal deaths now compose 38% of remaining child deaths,1,2 and 99% of these occur in developing countries, at a tragic intersection of widespread poverty, sex inequality, food insecurity, weak health systems, underdeveloped infrastructure, and suboptimal care seeking.1,36 Experts agree that meeting United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goal 4, which calls for a two-thirds reduction in child deaths between 1990 and 2015, will require a substantial (approximately 50%) reduction in neonatal deaths, necessitating a new focus on cost-effective strategies to save newborn lives.7

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