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Newborn Health

Despite global efforts to develop and promote high-impact interventions for newborn health, nearly three million infants die each year within the first month of life, with more than three-quarters of these deaths occuring in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Improvements in the prevention of newborn death have lagged behind those for maternal and child health.

MCSP harnesses global and country level resources to reduce preventable newborn deaths. This includes advocacy and technical support to implement key interventions that address the major causes of newborn death — intrapartum complications, newborn infections, and complications of preterm birth. We focus on providing appropriate and timely essential newborn care immediately after birth and thereafter, including:

  • Newborn resuscitation to manage asphyxia;
  • Kangaroo Mother Care for premature and low birth weight newborns; and
  • Newborn infection prevention and management.

To advance these critical newborn health interventions, MCSP emphasizes integration with maternal care, while strengthening health services and the household-to-hospital continuum of care. We collaborate and work with partners through global initiatives — such as Saving Newborn Lives, Survive &amp, Thrive Global Development Alliance, UN Commission on Lifesaving Commodities, Every Newborn Action Plan, and others — to ensure newborn health remains on global and national agendas. Country partnerships include governments, local partners, and communities where MCSP supports policy strengthening and scale-up of evidence-based newborn interventions.

These collective efforts contribute to strengthening skills and improving the quality of newborn health services through Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) for newborn resuscitation, Essential Care for Every Baby (ECEB), and Essential Care for the Small Baby (ECSB), and appropriate management of newborn infections.

To download MCSP’s newborn health fact sheet, click here.

Key Facts

  • Newborn deaths contribute to 44% of deaths in children under five years of age.
  • Three-quarters of all newborn deaths occur in the first week of life, with nearly 50% occurring during the first 24 hours.
  • Complications from preterm birth constitute the leading cause fo death for children under five.