This little cutie is Bud at about six weeks old. I remember when Boo and Bud were born, how anxious Art and I were to protect those fragile little souls. Boo was born the beginning of January and I was so afraid she would catch pneumonia that I didn’t take her out of the house for a month (except to the doctor’s office).
We were very fortunate that we had an excellent health plan at the time, and that we live in a first world country where we have access to clean water, plenty of food and health education.
But what about those families who don’t have the things we take for granted?
According to Impatient Optimists, the blog of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation:
- Nearly 3 million newborns die each year globally
- 99% of these newborns die in low and middle i
- A child is 45 times more likely to die in the first month of life (when compared to children ages 1 month to 5 years)
- The major causes of newborn deathare prematurity, infection, and birth asphyxia (when a baby’s brain and other organs do not get enough oxygen before, during or right after birth)
- Complications of preterm birth are the second leading cause of death in children before their fifth birthday.
But the majority of these deaths can be prevented with proper maternal healthcare during pregnancy, skin-to-skin contact after birth, breastfeeding and proper handwashing.
From April 15-18 in Johannesburg, South Africa, individuals from around the globe will gather for The Global Newborn Health Conference to focus on how we take those interventions that save lives and encourage their use in regions of the world where newborns are most at risk of dying. And this conference is part of a larger, ongoing conversation on newborn health to generate action.
What Can We Do To Help?
- Follow Dr. Gary Darmstadt (@gdarmsta), Director of the Family Health Division of the Gates Foundation on Twitter. Retweet his daily “Did You Know?” facts until the conference starts on April 18th.
- Follow the conference by live stream once it starts and tweet or share what you learn.
How can you be an advocate for global newborn health?