Save the Children Receives Funding to Help Save More Newborn Lives

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Wendy Christian 203.221.3767 (O) 203.465.8010 (M)

WESTPORT, Conn. (Oct. 10, 2011) — Amidst new evidence that newborn deaths remains a critical global health issue, Save the Children is pleased to announce the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s additional grant of $8.9 million to its Saving Newborn Lives program.

Since 2000, Save the Children’s Saving Newborn Lives program has worked with governments and partners to develop and support the adoption of affordable and effective ways to improve newborn health and survival in many of the poorest countries in the world. The additional funding will enable the agency to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the progress to date, identify critical remaining gaps, and continue to mobilize governments, donors and local partners to make reducing newborn deaths a priority.  Save the Children will continue to provide technical assistance to better integrate newborn health into existing health systems in countries in Africa and Asia, where the need is great.

“While newborn deaths account for over 40 percent of all under-five deaths, most mothers and newborns in the developing world do not receive the basic care that could save the lives of millions of newborns each year. But, it doesn’t have to be that way,” said Carolyn Miles, President & CEO of Save the Children. “This supplemental funding will allow us to generate and use new evidence of what works to help bring these life-saving interventions to many more mothers and newborns.”

In the decade since Save the Children established its Saving Newborn Lives program with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, annual newborn deaths have dropped globally from 4 to 3.1 million. But progress is mixed across countries and regions, with sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, lagging behind. Working with local partners, Save the Children has demonstrated that empowering frontline health workers to educate families and provide basic newborn care in their community, while linking to quality care for mothers and babies in health facilities, can dramatically reduce deaths and be replicated at scale.

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