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Use Of Antiseptic Gel In Rural Nepal Can Reduce Risk Of Death Among Newborns

PRI’s “The World”: An ointment could save up to half a million newborns a year­ – and it costs 20 cents
“Many babies [in rural Nepal] are born in unhygienic conditions, outside the hospital. This makes them susceptible to dangerous infections. ‘About 20,000 newborns die every year in Nepal,’ says Asha Pun, a maternal and newborn health specialist with UNICEF. She says many of those deaths are due to infections, so the challenge is to prevent infections at the time of birth. Several years ago, public health experts suggested one way to do that — by using an antiseptic gel called chlorhexidine. … Studies show that a single application of chlorhexidine can reduce the risk of death among newborns by about 25 percent…” (Narang, 3/16).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.