Every Newborn Progress report

Posted 28 July 2015 in News.

18 May 2015

One year since the Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) was endorsed at the 67th World Health Assembly, 15 of 18 low-resource countries identified as having the highest newborn mortality rates have taken action to improve maternal and newborn care around the time of birth and to save lives. The Every Newborn Progress Report provides a concise summary of these activities and more since the endorsement of ENAP which set clear direction for investing to ensure newborn survival and prevent stillbirths, and laid out targets for countries to meet by 2035.

To meet these achievable goals, at least four countries – Ghana, India, Indonesia and Pakistan – have finalized national newborn action plans and an additional six countries – Namibia, Philippines, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia – have improved their health programs to save the lives of women and newborns. Additional countries, including Bangladesh, Botswana, Malawi, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal and Nigeria, are in the process of developing their own national newborn action plans, and others, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar and Nepal are refining existing plans to include strategies to save newborns.

Unprecedented progress has been made in improving the lives of women and children around the world, however, newborn mortality rates have not fallen as fast. Newborn deaths make up 44 percent of all under-five mortality, even though the knowledge and tools to save these lives exist. The day of birth is the time of greatest risk of death and disability for babies and their mothers – contributing to around half of the world’s 289,000 maternal deaths annually.

Global, regional and national level partnerships have advanced country efforts towards realizing ENAP goals, with significant progress across three priority work streams: country implementation, metrics and advocacy. Regional and multicountry initiatives, such as First Embrace and Helping Babies Survive and Thrive, provide further impetus to country-led efforts.

More than 50 new commitments for newborn health have been made towards the Every Woman Every Child movement, which takes forward the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. Global and national advocacy initiatives and events, such as World Prematurity Day and World Breastfeeding Week, have created greater awareness and have mobilized action at the national and subnational level.

Ending preventable deaths for mothers and newborns is within reach. As the global community reviews progress and reassesses strategies and financing in this final year of the MDGs, advocacy efforts are centred on three concomitant but distinct global processes: the Sustainable Development Goals, the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health and a new Global Financing Facility for RMNCH.