Every Newborn: An action plan to end preventable deaths

About Every Newborn


Newborn deaths now account for at least 44% of deaths among children under the age of five globally, resulting in 2.9 million lives lost each year. Another 2.6 million babies die in the last 3 months of pregnancy or during childbirth (stillbirths). Reductions in neonatal mortality have lagged behind those of maternal, infant and child mortality, due to less attention and investment. As countries make a final push to achieve the Millennium Development goals, and look ahead to the next 20 years, reducing newborn mortality is an important challenge which needs to be faced.

We have the knowledge and tools to prevent at least two-thirds of these deaths. In taking forward the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s health, the Every Newborn Action Plan will focus attention on newborn health and identify actions for improving survival, health and development.

What can an Every Newborn Action Plan do?

The Every Newborn action plan will provide everyone with a roadmap and joint action platform for the reduction of preventable newborn mortality. Linking the work of all stakeholders, it will enable policy makers and others to take action to accelerate national plans to achieve clear results for newborn survival, enhancing the achievement of wider goals for women’s and children’s health. It will define the role and responsibilities of stakeholders, setting out a vision, targets and objectives, with recommended key actions to implement based on proven strategies for change and the latest evidence on effectiveness, costs and expected impact of interventions.

Working to advance the goals of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health and Every Woman Every Child movement, the Every Newborn action plan will build on the recommendations of the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, A Promise Renewed commitment to child survival and the objectives of the Family Planning 2020 effort. It will also set out its support for a common monitoring framework led by the recommendations of the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health.

Who is involved?

The process of drafting the Every Newborn action plan has been undertaken by a broad group of partners, coordinated by UNICEF and the World Health Organization and including The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Save the Children/Saving Newborn Lives, the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirths, Aga Khan University and Centre for Global Child Health, UNFPA and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. This process is supported by a wide group of involved constituents including governments, health professional associations, academic institutions, multi-lateral and bilateral agencies, foundations, the private sector and civil society, including women’s and parents’ groups.

The action plan will also be discussed in May 2014 at the World Health Assembly and formally launched on 30st June 2014 at the Partner’s Forum in Johannesburg.