Remarkable advances have been made over the past decade in defining the burden of newborn mortality and morbidity and stillbirths, and in identifying interventions to address the major risk factors and causes of deaths. However, progress in saving newborn lives and preventing stillbirths in countries lags behind that for maternal mortality and for children aged 1-59 months. To accelerate progress, greater focus is needed on improving coverage, quality and equity of care at birth-particularly obstetric care during labour and childbirth, and care for small and sick newborns, which gives a triple return on investment, reducing maternal and newborn lives as well as stillbirths. Securing national-level political priority for newborn health and survival and stillbirths, and implementation of the Every Newborn Action Plan are critical to accomplishing the unfinished global agenda for newborns and stillbirths beyond 2015.
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