We focus on increasing the demand for — and access to — life-saving neonatal health interventions.
Quick facts about neonatal mortality
- In many communities around the world, children are not named until they survive the first month of life, the neonatal period.
- Neonatal causes account for 40 percent of all deaths for children under five years old; more than malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea combined.
- Globally, 3.1 million neonatal children die each year, and another 2.6 million babies are stillborn.
- Four out of five neonatal deaths result from largely preventable and treatable conditions. Just three causes: infections, asphyxia, and preterm birth together account for nearly 80 percent of neonatal deaths.
- While significant progress has occurred in addressing childhood illnesses, progress in reducing neonatal mortality remains stagnant, making neonatal deaths a growing percentage of child deaths.
- Neonatal deaths are heavily skewed towards the first week of life, especially in the first two days. Three‐quarters of all neonatal deaths occur during the first week: 25–45 percent in the first 24 hours, and over 50 percent in the first 48 hours.
Our neonatal health strategy maximizes the services available to mothers to ensure the survival of their newborns, making use of current contact points we have across the world. Through our network members already offering health services and partnerships with Ministries of Health and other organizations, we are able to provide outreach to increase awareness and access to essential care for newborns during their most vulnerable period.
We fully endorse and promote the Essential Newborn Care approach, an integrated set of interventions that includes immediate initiation of exclusive breastfeeding, Kangaroo Mother Care, delayed bathing and early detection of infection. These interventions all can be delivered by community health workers during home visits.
We also work to increase access to, and use of, Chlorhexidine, a simple and inexpensive antiseptic used to prevent infection. Our diverse health service delivery approach enables increased access to chlorhexidine at scale.
Many of these interventions are low-cost and can be carried out entirely within the framework of existing government programs and private-sector channels to strengthen local health systems and increase sustainability.
In 2015, 59,925 tubes of Chlorhexidine (CHX) were distributed as a topical antiseptic applied to the umbilical cord stump after birth to prevent neonatal sepsis. A simple and inexpensive antiseptic, CHX has been shown to reduce neonatal mortality by 23%.
Additionally 50,303 clean delivery kits (CDKs) were distributed to reduce the risk of maternal and neonatal complications and mortality by preventing infection that can lead to sepsis.
- Chlorhexidine: We promote access to, and use of, this low-cost antiseptic for umbilical cord care.
- Breastfeeding: We provide mothers with messages about the importance of early initiation of breastfeeding, followed by exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and appropriate and timely complementary breastfeeding for children after six months.
- Prenatal vitamins: We promote Iron-Folic acid supplements and multivitamins for pregnant women.
- Learning Before Leaping: Integration of an Adaptive Study Design Process Prior to Initiation of BetterBirth
This paper describes how an initial trial of BetterBirth, an intervention using the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist, was modified and implemented in additional facilities in Uttar Pradesh, India, in order to collect stronger evidence of the program's impact on essential birth practices and maternal and neonatal health.
- Maternal Anemia
This brief offers background information on maternal anemia, what it means for newborns, what's new in the discussion and where PSI stands on the topic.
- A New Tool for Newborn Health: Chlorhexidine
Four percent Chlorhexidine is destined to be the next "major event" in public health. A topical antiseptic that is widely used in hospitals around the world, it reduces neonatal mortality by 23 percent. This compelling evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of the product.
- Measurable Results: PSI Child Survival
PSI strives to focus on the needs of children by integrating pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and malnutrition programs that produce measureable results and ensure a positive impact on the health of children worldwide. This brief provides an overview of these health areas and a description of how PSI is responding.
- Healthy Lives: Improving Health in Madagascar
Madagascar is a beautiful island nation with a wealth of biodiversity. However, average life expectancy is only 55.5 years, with the leading causes of death and disability being malaria, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), diarrheal diseases, and adverse conditions arising from pregnancy and birth. In this brief you will find a description of child survival challenges and successes.
- Designing an Exclusive Breastfeeding Program in Pakistan
Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) during the first six months of life carries greater benefits than mixed feeding with respect to morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases other than HIV. This brief looks at psychological benefits of breastfeeding and the barriers involved in designing an exclusive breastfeeding program.
- Breastfeeding in Pakistan Television Commercial
Greenstar, PSI's local affiliate in Pakistan, developed this video in conjunction with USAID and the Department of Health of the Government of Sindh, to encourage mothers to breastfeed their newborns within the first hour of birth. This message began airing in 2013 as part of a five-year maternal and child health program.
- Strengthening Health Systems to Improve Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Outcomes: a Framework
This paper proposes a framework that positions maternal, neonatal and child health (MNCH) interventions within the broader health system.
- PSI Health Impact Estimation Model: Neonatal Male Circumcision for Prevention of Heterosexual Transmission of HIV in Adulthood
PSI uses the disability‐adjusted life year (DALY) as the metric for measuring the health impact of interventions in health areas. The DALY model presented here is the Neonatal Male Circumcision (NMC) DALY model for prevention of heterosexual (female‐to‐male) transmission of HIV in adulthood.