In March, 2005, The Lancet published a series of four articles and two Comments highlighting a huge number of largely neglected deaths—the 4 million newborn babies who die every year, of whom 99% are born in developing countries. Yet deaths in newborn babies are rarely mentioned in global-health priorities. A misconception has been that highly technical care is needed. On the contrary, our estimates suggest that up to three-quarters of these deaths could be prevented with low-technology interventions at an additional cost of less than US$1 per head for the 75 countries with the highest mortality. What is needed is the political will to ensure that these interventions reach the women and babies who need them. One year on, we ask: what progress has been made over the past year in policy, in funding, and most importantly, in programmes in high-mortality countries? It is concluded that increased commitment has been galvanised and changes have occurred over the past year, with real progress in some countries and organisations, but there is still much to do and high demand from countries for help to do it.
Lawn, J.E.; Cousens, S.N.; Darmstadt, G.L.; Bhutta, Z.A.; Martines, J.; Paul, V.; Knippenberg, R.; Fogstad, H. 1 year after The Lancet Neonatal Survival Series&#8212;was the call for action heard? Lancet (2006) 367 (9521) 1541-1547. [DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(06)68587-5]