A global campaign to end newborn baby deaths has been launched today by Save the Children. The campaign is particularly focussed on developing countries, and is calling for all mothers-to-be to have a fully trained midwife present at the birth, in a bid to reduce the number of babies who are stillborn or die on their first day of life.

Sands has voiced its support for the campaign in the press statement below. More information about the Save the Children campaign can be found here:

http://savethechildren.org.uk/firstday

Sands’ response

Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, responds to the launch of Save the Children’s campaign ‘Ending Newborn Deaths’

The death of a baby before, during or shortly after birth is a tragedy, and 17 babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth every single day in the UK.  But as Save the Children’s Ending Newborn Deaths report illustrates so powerfully, it is not a tragedy exclusive to this country.

In developing countries, 1.2 million babies die during labour and 1 million die before the end of their first day of life. Sands welcomes the Ending Newborn Deaths report and Save the Children’s five-point Newborn Promise.  And Sands supports the call for action by Governments and partners to ensure all mothers and babies get the support and care they need antenatally and during and after labour.

Neal Long, chief executive of Sands, said: “In the UK mothers-to-be have structured antenatal care and practically all births are attended by trained medical staff. We practise evidence-based healthcare. Yet in spite of this, babies continue to die every day. Some deaths happen because of avoidable mistakes.  Some happen because we don’t yet know the best ways of identifying a baby in trouble. Better care for all mothers, in the UK and globally, will help to save babies’ lives.”