Monday, April 1, 2013

A Global Conversation About Newborn Health

UN Photo/Bikem Ekberzade
There is nothing better than the joy of bringing a new life into this world.  I only had one, and she is nearly ten, but I will never forget the joy, wonder, and fear that entered my life when I discovered I was pregnant with her.  I chose to use a midwife and go "au natural," but at least I knew there was the back-up option of going to the hospital and even calling an ambulance if need be.  For the first five weeks of her life, she was not getting enough milk, and she lost weight.  Again, thanks to medical health, I was able to keep her from having any problems.  I know God kept her safe in my ignorance, but no matter what, she had a lot going for her.  I didn't have to worry about much of anything because medical science is right at our fingertips.

But, you see, we here in the U.S. are very blessed to have access to such medical help.  We don't have to worry about things like they do elsewhere in this world.  Let me share some newborn health facts that you may not know (thanks to Impatient Optimists).

  • Almost three million newborns die every year all over the world.
  • Complications of preterm birth are the second leading cause of death in children before they reach their fifth birthday.
  • A newborn is 45 times more likely to die in his/her first month of life than he/she is from ages one to five.
  • Ninety-nine percent of infants that die each year die in low- and middle-income countries.
The Global Newborn Health Conference will occur from April 15-18 in South Africa.  Read more about it here.  Supporters of the conference are: (@mchipnet,@gatesfoundation @unicef,@savethechildren and @usaid) along with additional supporters (@jhpiego,@jsihealth@laerdalmedical ). They will all be tweeting facts from the #newborn2013 hashtag.  

There is a way for everyone to get involved since most of us will be unable to attend the conference.  Retweet daily “Did You Know?” facts from Dr. Gary Darmstadt (@gdarmsta), Director of the Family Health Division of the Gates Foundation.


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