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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.1,3-6 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