An action plan to end preventable deaths


Newborn deaths now account for at least 45% of deaths among children under the age of five globally, resulting in 2.7 million lives lost each year. Another 2.6 million babies die in the last 3 months of pregnancy or during childbirth (stillbirths). Reductions in neonatal mortality have lagged behind those of maternal, infant and child mortality, due to less attention and investment. As countries make a final push to achieve the Millennium Development goals, and look ahead to the next 20 years, reducing newborn mortality is an important challenge which needs to be faced.

We have the knowledge and tools to prevent at least two-thirds of these deaths. In taking forward the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s health, the Every Newborn Action Plan will focus attention on newborn health and identify actions for improving survival, health and development.

What can an Every Newborn Action Plan do?

The Every Newborn action plan will provide everyone with a roadmap and joint action platform for the reduction of preventable newborn mortality. Linking the work of all stakeholders, it will enable policy makers and others to take action to accelerate national plans to achieve clear results for newborn survival, enhancing the achievement of wider goals for women’s and children’s health. It will define the role and responsibilities of stakeholders, setting out a vision, targets and objectives, with recommended key actions to implement based on proven strategies for change and the latest evidence on effectiveness, costs and expected impact of interventions.

Working to advance the goals of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health and Every Woman Every Child movement, the Every Newborn action plan will build on the recommendations of the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, A Promise Renewed commitment to child survival and the objectives of the Family Planning 2020 effort.  It will also set out its support for a common monitoring framework led by the recommendations of the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health.

Who is involved?

The process of drafting the Every Newborn action plan was undertaken by a broad group of partners, coordinated by UNICEF and the World Health Organization and including The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Save the Children/Saving Newborn Lives, the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirths, Aga Khan University and Centre for Global Child Health, UNFPA and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. This process was supported by a wide group of involved constituents including governments, health professional associations, academic institutions, multi-lateral and bilateral agencies, foundations, the private sector and civil society, including women’s and parents’ groups.

Members of Steering Committee

  • Ministries of Health of Cameroon, India, Malawi, Nigeria, Philippines and South Africa
  • Aga Khan University
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Centre for Global Child Health
  • Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
  • Department for International Development, UK
  • Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirths
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program
  • Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health
  • Save the Children/Saving Newborn Lives
  • United Nations Children’s Fund
  • United Nations Population Fund
  • United States Agency for International Development
  • World Health Organization

Members of Advisory Group

  • Ministries of Health of
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Peru
  • Zambia
  • United Nations Agencies
  • Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health
  • WHO
  • Bilateral Agencies:
  • CIDA
  • Foundations:
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • ELMA Foundation
  • UN Foundation for Every Woman Every Child
  • Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
  • Private Sector:
  • Development Media International
  • GBC Health
  • GSMA
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Professional Associations:
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
  • Council of International Neonatal Nurses (COINN)
  • Family Planning 2020 Partnership
  • International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO)
  • International Confederation of Midwives (ICM)
  • International Confederation of Midwives (ICM)
  • Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) NeonatalAlliance
  • Academic Institutions:
  • Makerere University, Uganda
  • Institute for Global Health, University College London
  • Institute of International Programs, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Maternity and Infant Strategies Research Unit, Medical Research Council, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • Center of Medical Genetics, Peking University Center of Medical Genetics
  • Maternal Health Task Force, Harvard School of Public Health
  • NGOs and Civil Society Organisations:
  • CORE Group
  • European Foundation for Care of Newborn Infants (EFCNI)
  • Family Care International (FCI)
  • Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirths (GAPPS)
  • March of Dimes
  • MDG Health Alliance
  • PATH
  • Save the Children
  • SNV World
  • White Ribbon Alliance
  • Women Deliver
  • World Vision

Moving forward, the engagement by a wider group of partners is still needed particularly to support country implementation efforts. On the global level the Steering Committee and Advisory Group will no longer be kept as formal groups, however, the ENAP management team will continue efforts to ensure implementation of ENAP and engage the wider group of partners on a regular basis. Special efforts have been made to ensure more formal engage with maternal health partners and integrate the ENAP activities with maternal health and breastfeeding activities in particular. Stakeholders, will regularly be informed of progress and opportunities through the different outreach mechanisms including email updates, discussion fora, webinars, global and national meetings.

Learn more about Every Newborn in action >>