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J Perinatol. 2002 Oct-Nov;22(7):572-6.

Advancing newborn health and survival in developing countries: a conceptual framework.

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Saving Newborn Lives Initiative, Office of Health, Save the Children Federation - USA, Washington, DC 20036, USA.


Four million newborns die every year at home, often without skilled care at delivery or any other contact with the formal health system. Improved household practices and use of services, often in the community, should improve survival. We developed a conceptual framework for household and community newborn and maternal care that acknowledges the inseparability of the mother and neonate, yet stresses elements relating to the newborn, heretofore underemphasized in safe motherhood and child-survival programs. The framework identifies five paths that, if implemented well, would generally improve newborn outcomes: (1) use of routine maternal and newborn care and good-quality services; (2) response to maternal danger signs; (3) response to the nonbreathing newborn; (4) care for the low birth weight baby; and (5) response to newborn danger signs, particularly those of infection. This model, balancing preventive (19 routine behaviors) and curative care (14 special behaviors), is rooted in the community, bridges safe motherhood and child survival, and provides a framework for newborn health research, programmatic, and advocacy agendas for developing countries.

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