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The World in Medicine
March 16, 2011

Saving Newborn Lives

JAMA. 2011;305(11):1085. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.293

Visits from Pakistani community health workers called “lady health workers” (LHWs) can reduce newborn deaths and stillbirths, report researchers at Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan (Bhutta ZA et al. Lancet. 2011;377[9763]:403-412)

In a cluster-randomized effectiveness trial in a poor rural area of Pakistan with very high neonatal mortality rates, 16 clusters of catchment areas were allocated either to an intervention or control group. The LHWs delivered the intervention through group sessions that promoted antenatal and maternal health care, use of clean delivery kits, facility births, immediate newborn care, and other measures. The control group received routine care.