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Opportunities for Africa's newborns : practical data, policy and programmatic support for newborn care in Africa

LAWN, Joy
KERBER, Kate
2006

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The African region has the highest rates of neonatal mortality in the world, and has shown the slowest progress so far in reducing neonatal deaths. New policies, however, seem to provide opportunities to accelerate progress for maternal, newborn and child health. Section 1 presents an overview of neonatal deaths, and lives that could be saved in Africa in order to guide policy and programme priority setting. Section 2 explores the the continuum of care through pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period, highlighting current gaps in coverage of care and opportunities to address these gaps at all levels - family and community care, outreach services, and primary and referral care facilities. Section 3 contains an overview of the current situation for 9 key programmes related to newborn health. Section 4 discusses lessons learned and existing gaps between new policies and their implementation. Section 5, finally, contains a summary of relevant data for decision making for 46 countries in sub-Saharan Africa regarding maternal, newborn and child health status and policy. This accessible and comprehensive tool will be of use to policy makers, health and community workers and programme managers

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