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Lancet. 2016 Feb 13;387(10019):703-16. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)00954-X. Epub 2016 Jan 19.

Stillbirths: ending preventable deaths by 2030.

Author information

UN Population Fund, Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address:
Save the Children, Saving Newborn Lives, Edgemead, South Africa.
University of St Andrews, School of Medicine, North Haugh, St Andrews, UK; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Malawi, Blantyre, Malawi; International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, London, UK.
Independent Consultant, Women's Health and Development, Geneva, Switzerland.
Global Health Bureau, US Agency for International Development, Washington, DC, USA.
Mater Research Institute, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD, Australia; International Stillbirth Alliance, NJ, USA.
Centre for Global Child Health, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada; Center of Excellence in Women and Child Health, The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan; International Paediatric Association, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
Department of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
Department of Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
EnCompass LLC, Washington, DC, USA.
Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, Geneva, Switzerland.
Inserm UMR 1153, Obstetrical, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology Research Team (Epopé), Center for Epidemiology and Statistics, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris Descartes University, Paris, France.
Kamuzu College of Nursing University of Malawi, Lilongwe, Malawi.
Programmes Division, UNICEF Headquarters, New York, NY, USA.
The Centre for Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH) and Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK; Saving Newborn Lives, Save the Children, Washington, DC, USA.


Efforts to achieve the new worldwide goals for maternal and child survival will also prevent stillbirth and improve health and developmental outcomes. However, the number of annual stillbirths remains unchanged since 2011 and is unacceptably high: an estimated 2.6 million in 2015. Failure to consistently include global targets or indicators for stillbirth in post-2015 initiatives shows that stillbirths are hidden in the worldwide agenda. This Series paper summarises findings from previous papers in this Series, presents new analyses, and proposes specific criteria for successful integration of stillbirths into post-2015 initiatives for women's and children's health. Five priority areas to change the stillbirth trend include intentional leadership; increased voice, especially of women; implementation of integrated interventions with commensurate investment; indicators to measure effect of interventions and especially to monitor progress; and investigation into crucial knowledge gaps. The post-2015 agenda represents opportunities for all stakeholders to act together to end all preventable deaths, including stillbirths.

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