Saving Newborns: ‘Kangaroo Care’ Could Go A Long Way
In the developing world, a baby’s first day of life is often the most perilous.
Roughly 3 million newborns die each year, the nonprofit Save the Children reportedTuesday. Most of these deaths occur in the first week of life, and more than 1 million babies pass away within 24 hours of being born.
Although the report calls for some big changes in health care systems to prevent newborn deaths, it also says that some simple, inexpensive things could save many lives.
For instance, teaching mothers to hold their newborns against their skin — a technique called kangaroo care — could help many babies survive. Washing umbilical cords with an antiseptic could reduce infections among newborns. And a little training for midwives could prevent thousands of babies from being strangled by umbilical cords during delivery. There are also easy ways to revive many infants that aren’t breathing.
For the first time, Save the Children ranked 176 countries in terms of the risk of a baby dying within 24 hours after delivery.
Guess what countries ranked at the bottom?
Photo by Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images. Chart from Save the Children.