Photo: New mothers at a health clinic in Awassa, Ethiopia
By virtue of raising families, mothers and fathers know intimately and first-hand how fragile the lives of newborns are. In low- and middle-income countries where resources and trained health workers can be scarce, the chances of survival for newborns are drastically lowered. In fact, the mortality ratios in poorer nations stand in stark contrast to those in industrialized countries. More newborn lives, however, can be saved in through proven interventions that work effectively when performed by trained healthworkers.
This year saving the lives of newborns is front and center on the global political and development agenda and parents around the world are poised to lend their collective voice to this effort. The UNICEF-and WHO-led Every Newborn Action Plan draft is currently online to be read, shared, and commented upon by a vast coalition of constituents including parents, families, and communities. The plan seeks to provide a joint action platform in which to reduce preventable newborn mortality by scaling up quality care.
Why are the voices of mothers and fathers important to the Every Newborn Action Plan? Parents and families bring a fresh, new perspective to ensuring newborn lives are saved around the world. Shockingly, 2.9 million newborns lose their lives every year. What is particularly troubling is the vast majority of these deaths are wholly preventable. It is a matter of providing the resources, training, care, health access, and health workers that will change the trajectory of newborn lives for the better, but it takes a plan first to ensure these interventions come through.
Read the rest on Healthy Newborn Network.
Photo copyright: Jennifer James