Three Million Is Too Many

To most of us reading this, having a baby is a non-event.  Aside from pregnancy complications or other issues, having a baby is a joyous and beautiful experience that we share with our loved ones.  But, have you considered… as you read this… A baby has died.  A mother is grieving.  A family is devastated.

  • 3 million newborns die globally each year
  • 99% of these newborns die in low and middle-income countries
  • A newborn is 45 times more likely to die in the first month of life, compared to 1 month to 5 years
  • The major causes of newborn deaths are prematurity, infection, and birth asphyxia (when a baby’s brain and other organs do not get enough oxygen before, during or after birth)
  • Complications of preterm birth are the second leading cause of death in children before the age of 5**

Did you know that the majority of newborn deaths can be prevented?

Beginning April 15th, the Global Newborn Health Conference will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa.  This first global conference on newborn health will include maternal and newborn health experts, researchers, and non-governmental organizations who will begin to collaborate and develop high-impact interventions to save more newborn lives globally.

The conference is focusing on an answer to these questions:

  • Why are so many newborns in the poorest countries dying?

  • What can we do as a global community to save them?

From now until April 15th, Dr. Gary Darmstadt (@gdarmsta), the Director of the Family Health Division of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and @gatesfoundation will tweet daily “Did You Know” facts about newborn health.  You can become part of the conversation by following the #newborn2013 hashtag and following Gary Darmstadt at @gdarmsta and @gatesfoundation and retweeting newborn health facts to your followers.

We need your help.

From now until April 15th, join in the global conversation about newborn health.

The Gates Foundation, in association with USAID’s flagship Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (@mchipnet, @USAID), Save the Children’s Saving Newborn Lives (@savethechildren), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (@UNICEF) are hosting this four-day conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.

In the past few years, there has been progress in addressing childhood illnesses in poorer countries, but newborn deaths– which account for approximately 40% of deaths of children under age 5 around the world– has not had much progress.  Newborn mortality rates are too high.  There are several techniques and treatments that can help eliminate these deaths, including treating any maternal infections during pregnancy, kangaroo mother care, and even things so basic as hand washing.


The Global Conversation About Newborn Health

How to get involved:

  • Retweet daily “Did You Know?” facts from Dr. Gary Darmstadt (@gdarmsta), the Director of the Family Health Division of the Gates Foundation
  • Visit other members of the Global Team of 200– tween and share their posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets.  And, of course… feel free to broadcast this post out to your friends, family, and followers.

I encourage you to help spread the word and to join in the Global Conversation About Newborn Health.  Do it for the healthy babies you have had.  Do it for your grown children.  Do it for the women who have lost babies.  Do it for yourself.  Do it for the future.  A simple Tweet or Facebook share… that’s all it takes.  Stand with me… THREE MILLION IS TOO MANY.

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

[php snippet=7]

**Statistics provided by GARY DARMSTADT and CYRIL ENGMANN via the Impatient Optimists website.  Used with permission.

[php snippet=8]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.