Ending Newborn Deaths

Ensuring every baby survives

February 2014


In 2012, 2.9 million newborn babies died within 28 days. Of these, 1 million babies died on their first – and only – day of life.

Unless we urgently start to tackle deaths among newborn babies, there is a real danger that progress in reducing child deaths will stall, and we will fail in our ambition to be the generation that can end all preventable child deaths.

But, as our report Ending Newborn Deaths reveals, the crisis is even bigger. In 2012 there were 1.2 million stillbirths where the heart stopped beating during labour.

This report sets out an agenda to tackle the crisis and identifies the essential interventions around birth that a properly skilled midwife or other trained health worker can deliver to save newborn lives and prevent stillbirths during labour. However, access to these services is deeply unequal and, globally in 2102, 40 million women – the poorest and most marginalised – gave birth without a trained health worker present.

To end all preventable newborn deaths and stillbirths during labour, there needs to be universal access to properly trained and equipped health workers at birth. This report sets out the reforms needed to achieve universal health coverage for the poorest and hardest-to-reach communities.

2014 offers an unprecedented opportunity to tackle the crisis, with countries and global institutions set to agree the Every Newborn Action Plan. In our report Ending Newborn Deaths, Save the Children calls on governments, world leaders, philanthropists and the private sector to make that opportunity count and to commit to the five-point Newborn Promise to end all preventable newborn deaths. 


PDF icon Ending Newborn Deaths3.26 MB

Related reading

No Child Born to Die: Closing the gaps

No Child Out of Reach: Time to end the health worker crisis

Missing Midwives