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Newborn Babies Account For 40% Of Preventable Child Deaths, See Little Global Health Funding, Report Says

“Newborns now account for 40 percent of preventable child deaths worldwide, but only a tiny fraction of international aid targets newborns, according to” Save the Children’s new report on newborn survival, to be published in the medical journal Health Policy and Planning Tuesday, USA Today reports (Madhani, 6/11). “The world has achieved remarkable progress on reducing child deaths — from 12.4 million in 1990 to 7.6 million in 2010 — but that progress isn’t reaching newborn babies at the same pace, the report shows,” a Save the Children press release states (6/12).

The report “says sub-Saharan Africa has reduced deaths among children in the first month of life by a negligible 1.5 percent from 2000 to 2010, a small improvement on the 0.6 percent reduction between 1990 and 2000,” allAfrica.com writes, adding, “The region has made the least progress worldwide in cutting deaths among newborns.” According to the news service, “The authors of the report say that unless improvements are accelerated, it will be more than 150 years before African babies have the same chance of survival as those born in the United States and Europe” (Valentine, 6/12). The study “comes as the Obama administration, India and Ethiopia prepare to host a summit in Washington on Thursday focused on bolstering efforts to reduce the number of children younger than five who die from preventable ailments,” USA Today notes (6/11).

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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.