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Global Health
April 17, 2018

Urgency to End Newborn Deaths

JAMA. 2018;319(15):1539. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.4127

Around the world, 2.6 million infants die before they reach the age of 1 month, but the majority of these deaths are preventable, according to a new report from UNICEF. In addition, the report notes that every year an additional 2.6 million infants are stillborn, mostly in low- and middle-income countries. Half of these infants were alive at the beginning of labor.

Deaths among children between the ages of 1 month and 5 years have dropped in recent decades, but progress has been slower for newborns younger than 1 month. Prematurity, complications around the time of birth, and infections—most of which are preventable with better access to maternal and newborn health services provided by skilled health providers—are the main causes of these deaths.