Neonatal Deaths are a common cause of — Preterm birth, intrapartum-related complications, infections and congenital disabilities.
Facts are—Around 3 million children died in the first month of life in 2018, of which about one third died on the day of birth and close to two thirds, died within the first week of life. Infant mortality declined more slowly than mortality among children aged 1–56 months. As a result, neonatal deaths among all under-five deaths increased from 40% in 1990 to 47% in 2018.
Infants who die within the first 30 days of birth suffer from conditions associated with lack of proper care at birth or care and treatment immediately after birth.
In all neonatal deaths that occur during the first week of life, about One Million newborns die within the first 24 hours. The main reasons of mortality could be pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and congenital disabilities. ‘Malnutrition’ [ Includes-mainly under nutrition] is the Underlying contributing factor, making children more vulnerable to severe diseases.
Newborn deaths take place mainly in low and middle-income groups. It is feasible to improve survival and health of newborns and end preventable stillbirths by providing high-quality antenatal care, expert care at birth, postnatal care for mother and infant, and care of sick newborns. With the increase in facility births, there is an excellent chance of providing essential newborn care and identifying and managing high-risk newborns.
Many Newborns die at home due to early discharge from the hospital and delay in seeking care. Quick progress for infant survival and Promotion of Health and Wellbeing–requires enhancing quality care as well as assuring the availability of quality health services.
All infants must receive:
*hygienic umbilical cord and skincare
*Weaning immediately after birth
*Assessment for signs of any severe health issues or need of additional care
*Preventive treatment (e.g. immunisation)
Families are advised to: Get prompt medical attention when necessary, register the birth and bring the infant for timely vaccination according to schedules.
Some newborns [e.g., sick infants] require additional attention and care during hospitalisation and at home to minimise their health risks. Any severe signs should be checked as soon as possible at the health facilities or home, and the infant should be referred to the appropriate service for further care.
Infants of HIV-Infected mothers if any-must be provided—preventive antiretroviral treatment to prevent infections; HIV testing and care must be performed for exposed infants and support to mothers for infant feeding. Community health worker should be aware of the specific issues around infant feeding. Many HIV-infected newborns are premature and therefore, more susceptible to infections.
WHO’s Correspondence –WHO works with ministries of health to:
-Invest in care, specifically around the time of birth and the first week of life
-Improve health care for the Mother and her Newborn from pregnancy through the entire postnatal period
-Expand quality services for sick infants
-Empower mothers, families and communities to take part in improving quality newborn care
-Strengthen measurement, programme-tracking and accountability of counting every newborn and stillbirth.
With the help of our expert team ‘EKAM’, we as a community can help reduce neonatal deaths. EKAM Foundation is a non-profit organisation that provides quality healthcare to the needy infants, children and mothers in India. EKAM uniquely focuses on neonates and infants.
So, log on to www.ekamoneness.org to learn more.