“The fact that every fourth baby in the world
is born too soon or born too small is a
concern for human rights, public health
the national economy, and development.
By not addressing this priority, we are
jeopardising our collective future.”

The lives of more than a million babies a year could be saved across the developing world if mothers were given access to simple, low-cost health measures such as vitamins, antimalarials and aspirin, a new analysis has found.

The study, focused on the “silent public health disaster” of babies being born “too small or too soon”, comes as the United Nations warns that progress on reducing newborn deaths and stillbirths has flatlined since 2015, and that patchy, underfunded antenatal care is partially to blame.

The authors of the analysis, published in the Lancet, estimate that 476,000 newborn deaths and 566,000 stillbirths could be avoided every year if a handful of predominantly antenatal measures were fully implemented in 81 low- and middle-income countries.

Learn more on Small Vulnerable Newborns via The Lancet.