Born Too Soon: Accelerating actions for prevention and care of 15 million newborns born too soon

Joy E. Lawn, Mary V. Kinney, José M. Belizan, Elizabeth Mary Mason, Lori McDougall, Jim Larson, Eve Lackritz, Ingrid K. Friberg, Christopher P. Howson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Preterm birth complication is the leading cause of neonatal death resulting in over one million deaths each year of the 15 million babies born preterm. To accelerate change, we provide an overview of the comprehensive strategy required, the tools available for context-specific health system implementation now, and the priorities for research and innovation. There is an urgent need for action on a dual track: (1) through strategic research to advance the prevention of preterm birth and (2) improved implementation and innovation for care of the premature neonate. We highlight evidence-based interventions along the continuum of care, noting gaps in coverage, quality, equity and implications for integration and scale up. Improved metrics are critical for both burden and tracking programmatic change. Linked to the United Nation's Every Women Every Child strategy, a target was set for 50% reduction in preterm deaths by 2025. Three analyses informed this target: historical change in high income countries, recent progress in best performing countries, and modelling of mortality reduction with high coverage of existing interventions. If universal coverage of selected interventions were to be achieved, then 84% or more than 921,000 preterm neonatal deaths could be prevented annually, with antenatal corticosteroids and Kangaroo Mother Care having the highest impact. Everyone has a role to play in reaching this target including government leaders, professionals, private sector, and of course families who are affected the most and whose voices have been critical for change in many of the countries with the most progress. Declaration. This article is part of a supplement jointly funded by Save the Children's Saving Newborn Lives programme through a grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and March of Dimes Foundation and published in collaboration with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and the World Health Organization (WHO). The original article was published in PDF format in the WHO Report Born Too Soon: the global action report on preterm birth (ISBN 978 92 4 150343 30), which involved collaboration from more than 50 organizations. The article has been reformatted for journal publication and has undergone peer review according to Reproductive Health's standard process for supplements and may feature some variations in content when compared to the original report. This co-publication makes the article available to the community in a full-text format.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberS6
JournalReproductive health
Volume10
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Born Too Soon: Accelerating actions for prevention and care of 15 million newborns born too soon'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this