In 2009, WHO and UNICEF issued a Joint Statement recommending home visits for care of the newborn infant in the first week of life. Three years later, 30 out of the 58 countries of Africa and Asia have a policy on postnatal home visits. The meeting report documents the implementation of these home visitation programmes and the context of postnatal care in which home visits occur. Over 60 participants from countries in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa identified ways for increasing coverage of this effective intervention that will guide policy makers and managers of maternal and child health programmes.
Preterm birth is the world's largest killer of newborn babies, causing more than one million deaths each year, yet 75% could be saved without expensive, high technology care. That's the primary message and motivating theme of World Prematurity Day, 17 November, a global effort to raise awareness of the deaths and disabilities due to prematurity and the simple, proven, cost-effective measures that could prevent them.
Updated guidelines on basic newborn resuscitation
Globally, about one quarter of all neonatal deaths are caused by birth asphyxia - the failure to initiate and sustain breathing at birth. Effective resuscitation at birth can prevent a large proportion of these deaths. These updated WHO guidelines aim to ensure that newborns in resource-limited settings who require resuscitation are effectively resuscitated. They will also assist programme managers responsible for implementing maternal and child health programmes to develop or adapt national or local guidelines, standards and training materials on newborn care.
A new report provides the first-ever national, regional and global estimates of preterm birth. The report shows the extent to which preterm birth is on the rise in most countries, and is now the second leading cause of death globally for children under five, after pneumonia.
Addressing preterm birth is now an urgent priority for reaching Millennium Development Goal 4, calling for the reduction of child deaths by two-thirds by 2015. This report shows that rapid change is possible and identifies priority actions for everyone.
Newborn health topics
Statistics and epidemiology
News on newborn health
Ending preventable deaths from pneumonia and diarrhoea by 2025
Consultation to discuss the next steps towards the elimination of preventable pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths.
Launch of the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist Collaboration
World Prematurity Day highlights effective, low-cost care
Accelerating progress on child survival since 2000, UN says