Home Institution

Cornell University

Publication Date

Fall 2017

Program Name

Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy


Newborn healthcare has long been neglected on the international agenda despite neonatal death making up 44% of all under-five deaths. Neonates are newborns under 28 days of age and are the most vulnerable population with the highest risk of mortality during humanitarian emergencies. The common misconception that neonatal healthcare is very expensive and requires delivery from highly skilled healthcare professionals must be dismissed. There are many low-cost interventions that are highly effective at saving lives, the most notable ones being kangaroo mother care, bag and mask resuscitation, and basic immunizations. The leading causes of neonatal death are prematurity, intrapartum complications, and infections including sepsis. Despite the extensive and high-quality manuals available from accredited international humanitarian health organizations, many challenges remain in the implementation of these guidelines by healthcare workers on the field. The most commonly cited problems include lack of funding and poor human resources. In order to achieve SDG goals of reduction in maternal and neonatal mortality rates, the global community must work together to scale-up neonatal interventions addressing small and ill newborns as well as improve training of healthcare workers concerning newborn care.


International Public Health | Maternal and Child Health | Medical Humanities | Women's Health