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Press Release

Setting priorities for saving newborn lives


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2.7 million babies will die in the first month after birth in 2015, and 2.6 million were stillborn in 2009. A new study sets out the research for the coming decade in the area of newborn health.

As many as 45% of deaths in children aged under 5 occur in the neonatal period, and the reduction of neonatal mortality is progressing particularly slowly. There is an increasing need to guide the limited research capacity and funding to obtain the maximum impact on maternal and child health to accelerate the reduction in neonatal mortality.

The World Health Organization co-ordinated a global exercise to set research priorities for newborn health research agenda beyond 2015 (post MDGs). The focus of the exercise included not only the newborn survivals, but also growth and development. The paper reveals the top ten research priorities identified by globally identified experts in three research domains (delivery, development and discovery). The results are published in the Journal of Global Health.

In the coming years, the newborn health research agenda needs to be placed at the forefront of efforts to reduce global child mortality, because deaths in this age group will soon become the majority of all child deaths, given the lack of progress for mortality reduction this age group but also the importance of morbidity.

“The successful approaches will require a wide international consensus between the donors, researchers and policy-makers, which we believe this exercise may greatly assist, contributing to the upcoming Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). We believe that the paper will be helpful in guiding global research policy on newborn health in the coming decade” says Sachiyo Yoshida, one of the study’s authors.

For more information, please contact Ms Sachiya Yoshida ([email protected]).

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