Intercountry symposium on strategies to improve newborn survival in line with the SDGs


20–21 July 2017, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Countries in the WHO European Region have made substantial progress in recent decades to reduce the number of child deaths. However, neonatal deaths still account for 52% of all deaths among children under the age of 5. The majority of neonatal deaths (75%) occur during the first week of life, and between 25% and 45% occur within the first 24 hours.

The main causes of death are related to delivery complications, congenital malformations, prematurity and infections. Newborn mortality is particularly high in countries of central Asia and the Caucasus. Many of these newborn deaths are preventable through existing interventions that could be integrated into care for women and children.

Newborn health is part of the unfinished agenda of the Millennium Development Goals, and is now embedded within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Target 3.2 aims to end preventable deaths of newborns by 2030, and for all countries to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1000 live births. Doing so requires joint action from obstetricians and midwives, the health professionals involved in maternal and child health.

Identifying and addressing gaps in newborn survival

Teams from Aga Khan University, the Coalition of Centres in Global Child Health, the International Pediatric Association, the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health, the United Nations Children’s Fund and WHO will come together at a symposium in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on 21–22 July 2017 to focus on strategies for implementing the Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP). The ENAP provides countries with guidance on identifying and addressing the main gaps in newborn survival and development. At present, it is only partially operationalized in the Region.

The symposium will engage key stakeholders, academics, researchers, bilateral agencies and the media. It will address each aspect of the ENAP and stimulate discussion on how to apply ENAP strategies for accelerating progress in the central Asian and Caucasus regions. Outcomes will include action plans and recommendations for addressing key challenges for newborn health in the countries of the Region.