Babies can be saved starting right now
Some global health issues are so complex that real progress might be decades away. That’s not the case for the problems faced by newborns and their mothers. It is truly possible—right now—to make a huge difference in the first few moments of life with simple, low-cost tools.
The problem is of epic proportions: every year, four million newborns die in the first month of life. That’s as if every baby born in the US this year died! In reality, 99 percent of those newborn deaths are in developing countries.
In the US and other wealthy countries, most mothers give birth in hygienic environments with trained medical personnel and high-tech emergency equipment. That’s in stark contrast to the developing world, where most babies are born at home, often without any medical safety net.
Meaningful interventions like portable baby resuscitators and simple scales to identify low-birthweight infants can save lives—and they do not have to be expensive or complicated to use. PATH is working to develop and expand access to these technologies in poor and remote areas of the world, so that every newborn has the opportunity to thrive.
Photo: PATH/Carib Nelson.