Category Archives: Preterm Birth

Join the Global Conversation About Newborn Health #Newborn2013

From April 15 – 18, 2013 the first global conference on newborn health, the Global Newborn Health Conference, will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa. On the agenda, maternal and newborn health experts, researchers, and NGOs will collaborate on innovative ways to scale high-impact interventions that will save more newborn lives globally ahead of the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.

The conference is set out to ask: Why are so many newborns in the poorest countries dying? And what can we do as a global community to save them?

Leading up to the conference Dr. Gary Darmstadt (@gdarmsta), 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 and you can become a part of the conversation. In What You Might Not Know About Newborn Health, Dr. Darmstadt explains why so many newborns in the world’s poorest countries are dying and why more needs to be done to save the 3 million newborns that die every year.

Become a part of the conversation

You can spread newborn health facts by following the #newborn2013 hashtag and following Gary Darmstadt at @gdarmsta and @gatesfoundation and retweet newborn health facts to your followers.

Here are a few tweets that have already gone out that you can share and retweet.

Read more about the Global Newborn Health Conference at and continue to follow the conversation at #newborn2013.

Photo: UN Photo/Staton Winter

Under Five Child Survival Under Microscope at Summit

This week child survival is under critical review in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during the African Leadership for Child Survival – A Promise Renewed summit. This meeting, held at the African Union headquarters and convened by the Ethiopian government along with UNICEF and USAID brought together African Ministers of Health to enter into discussions about markedly improving child survival rates. The summit ends Friday.

Between 1990-2011 child mortality has decreased 39% in sub-Saharan Africa. According to UNICEF, 1 in 8 children in sub-Saharan Africa die before their fifth birthday from five leading causes: pneumonia, pre-term birth complications, diarrhea, intrapartum-related complications, newborn infection, and malaria.

Key tweets and infographics are emerging from the summit at the #promise4children hashtag.

USAID Administrator Dr. Raj Shah addressed the summit via video:

Child Survival Summit

Child Survival Summit

Child Survival Summit

Some of the topics in discussion are community-based newborn care, reducing stunting to increase child survival and increasing skilled birth attendants to decrease newborn and child mortality.

For more information on child survival and child mortality rates visit

Photo: Jennifer James

Catapult: A Game Changer in Crowdfunding

There are a lot of crowdfunding platforms on the Net, but we’re seeing more and more of them become increasingly targeted to niche communities and specific causes. Catapult, a crowdfunding platform for women and girls’ projects, is one of these new, hyper-targeted crowdfunding platforms.

A digital project of Women Deliver and funded by the Gates Foundation, Catapult will provide funding opportunities for NGOs that work to better the lives for women and girls’.

“We know that when we invest in girls and women, everyone wins,” said Jill W. Sheffield, President of Women Deliver. “Catapult is a new opportunity to deliver millions of dollars over the next decade to organizations that are making real progress for girls and women.”

One hundred percent of all donations will fund projects rather than organizational overhead. This is immensely important as it builds goodwill for those who fundraise for causes and for those who donate. Through Catapult’s transparency requirements there will be no question about where your dollars go. NGOs are responsible for providing detailed follow-up at the 90 day mark and one year mark after full funding has been reached. These follow-ups will typically be in the form of photos and videos.

Catapult will officially launch this Thursday on International Day of the Girl. To  get a better idea of Catapult watch this video that explains it all.

On the Net:

Correction: The original text stated that the Gates Foundation, the United Nations Population Fund, and the Global Fund for Women among others fund Catapult. The United Nations Population Fund and the Global Fund for Women are partners of Catapult, but have not funded the site.

Download New Song “Feel Again”, Support Child Health

Seven million children worldwide die before their 5th birthday each year. These early deaths are caused largely by preventable diseases like malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea and neonatal complications. This September Save the Children, the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and 120 countries around the world, and the Ad Council will officially launch the Every Beat Matters campaign to help prevent these child deaths.

Every Beat Matters seeks to provide basic health care for children around the world and shine a light on the health workers that work tirelessly to keep them alive. In honor of the Every Beat Matters campaign the band OneRepublic created a new song, Feel Again, to celebrate the lives of children everywhere. For every download of Feel Again a portion of the proceeds will go to Every Beat Matters. In fact, in the beginning of Feel Again you can hear the heartbeats of children from Malawi and Guatamala.

“OneRepublic has done something very magical and children around the world stand to benefit,” said Save the Children’s President & CEO, Carolyn Miles. “Just as children’s heartbeats inspired ‘Feel Again,’ this powerful song can inspire people to help save children’s lives. They can do that by downloading the song by joining Save the Children’s newborn and child survival campaign at”

To help and join the movement to keep children alive through basic health care visit: | @EveryBeatMatters |

Photo: EveryBeatMatters/ Save the Children

Why Reaching the Age of Five in Developing Countries is Critical to Survival

Every year over seven million children in developing countries die before the critical age of five. Research shows that once children reach the age of five they have an increased chance of surviving through adulthood, but there are several challenges they must overcome first.

This April, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), along with key partners including ONE, launched Every Child Deserves a Fifth Birthday, a global effort to raise awareness about the prevention methods and tools that can save the lives of millions of children every year. Most of the seven million child deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia where diseases like malaria, pneumonia, and other communicable diseases, diarrhea, pre-term birth complications, hunger and malnutrition as well as other causes take the lives of over 20,000 children a day. In fact, one in eight children die in sub-Saharan Africa before the age of five.

There is hope and progress has been made. Child mortality rates have been reduced by 70% over the last 50 years according to USAID, but progress cannot slow.

Millions of children’s lives can be saved through preventative measures such as insecticide-treated bed nets, low-cost vaccines, improved access to clean water and sanitation, medications for expecting mothers that prevent transmission of HIV to their babies, and access to proper nutrition and adequate food.

On June 14 – 15 USAID along with India’s and Ethiopia’s governments will convene the Child Survival Call to Action event at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. During the two-day event high-level talks with stakeholders, partners, members of civil society and the faith community will take place around the issue of ending the millions of preventable child deaths.

The Child Survival Call to Action event will be streamed online on June 14 and a robust conversation will take place via social media under the #5thBDay hashtag.

You can learn more about Every Child Deserves a Fifth Birthday at

Photo: UN Photo/Stuart Price