A new report has highlighted the need to transform care for the almost 30 million newborns who require specialised or intensive care in a hospital each year.
The Survive and Thrive: Transforming care for every small and sick newborn report details how some 2.5 million newborns died in 2017, mostly from preventable causes. It says infants who require specialised or intensive care and survive often do so with preventable conditions and disabilities that will affect them for life.
The report claims that 1.7 million newborn lives could be saved each year by investing in access to quality care for every newborn, everywhere, including in humanitarian settings. Meanwhile, almost 68 per cent of newborn deaths could be averted by 2030 with improvements such as exclusive breastfeeding; skin-to-skin contact; medicines and essential equipment; and access to clean, well-equipped health facilities staffed by skilled health workers, it says.
It recommends a number of measures to improve outcomes for infants including providing round-the-clock inpatient care for newborns, training nurses to provide hands-on care working in partnership with families, and allocating necessary resources, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.