Did you know that in 2012 2.9 million newborns around the world did not live past 28 days and 1 million of those died within the first 24 hours of life? Additionally, 1.2 million babies died of stillbirth in 2012. These numbers are reported in Save the Children’s latest report released today: Ending Newborn Deaths: Ensuring Every Baby Survives. And the vast majority of those newborn deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. For example, the Democratic Republic of Congo recorded 41,800 newborn deaths on the day they were born. And Nigeria recorded 94,500 newborn deaths within the first 24 hours. These large numbers are, of course, attributable to the population of the countries, but the numbers are still too high, especially given that these numbers are four to five times higher than developed nations.
2014, as I have written before, is the year of the newborn! Global NGOs, governments, and the private sector are all uniting to create a robust roadmap to put an end to the millions of newborns that die every year from health complications that are easily preventable and a lack of resources. Save the Children’s Ending Newborn Deaths report is one important piece of this critical roadmap.
Today 24 members of the Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health, will post for 24 hours about the importance of newborn health and about Ending Newborn Deaths. We are posting for 24 hours in honor of every newborn who will not make it past their first day of life today.
How to Help!
We can all do something to save newborn lives! Follow all of the posts on Tumblr and on Pinterest for the next 24 hours to learn more about this global movement to save more babies and about Save the Children’s report. You can join the conversation at #FirstDay. You can also comment on the Every Newborn Action Plan until Friday, February 28, to share your ideas about saving more newborns. And, finally, you can simply give to Save the Children to purchase newborn health kits for women in need who lack access to quality health workers and care.
Over the course of the next month or so we will be working with major NGOs to spread the word about new reports and critical days commemorating important causes and issues. Mark your calendars for these causes.
Tuesday, February 25
We will be working with Save the Children to spread the word about its brand-new newborn health report during a 24-hour carnival.
#TeacherTuesday launches with UNESCO on this day. We are joining nine other global voices to share inspirational teachers around the world for ten weeks. Read more.
#TeacherTuesday Twitter chat with the first featured teacher will take place at 12 PM GMT. Join with the#TeacherTuesday hashtag.
Thursday, February 27 from 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
Investing in Women and Girls: Finding solutions in water, sanitation and hygiene, featuring H&M Conscious Foundation and Procter & Gamble. WaterAid will be standing by, too, to answer any questions that people might have about the work that we are gearing up to do together. RSVP by February 25 at https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/487286806
Friday, February 28
This day marks the last day to comment on the Every Newborn Action Plan. Add your comments by this Friday.
There is a long tradition of newborn and child healthcare in the United States and around the world for that matter. See photos below. From 1900 – 1997 the child mortality rate decreased more than 90% in the United States – a laudable national health achievement. Now there is an accelerated global move to save more newborn lives around the world given the knowledge and interventions that can keep more newborns alive in countries where the newborn mortality rate is absurdly high.
UNICEF and the World Health Organization has led a new movement to draft the Every Newborn Action Plan that will create a roadmap to lower the newborn mortality rate across the board to effectively reduce the overall child mortality rate. Through February 28 you can add your thoughts and ideas about the plan on the World Health Organization web site.
Without a national plan, strength of will, resources, and national participation the child mortality rate in the United States might not have improved as rapidly as it did. This shows that indeed improvements can be made in child and newborn survival rates when everyone is on the same page. Changes will not happen overnight, to be sure, but they will happen when steps are made in the right direction.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-A35-5-M-4
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USF34- 071888-D
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USF34- 071908-D
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USW3- 000544-D
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ggbain-09828
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USF34-038660-D
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USF34-071858-D
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-72011