When I read Save the Children’s recent report on childbirth and infant mortality worldwide, I was pretty floored to find that a huge number of infant deaths that occur could easily be solved with simple, inexpensive procedures and equipment. Over a million per year. The problem? Lack of resources and education to the people who need it the most; mothers and care providers.
While the majority of solutions listed below may seem obvious to us, in third world and developing countries this information simply isn’t available or widely known. What will it take for this information to get into the hands of others? Who will help spread the word so that we can start to save our littlest victims of worldwide ignorance and neglect? Is it possible to take the information given to us and make a difference?
Click through below to read the 6 top ways to reduce infant deaths, then share and pass it on. Who knows? Maybe you’ll save a life with a click.
6 Inexpensive and Simple Ways to Reduce Infant Mortality 1 of 7
Click through for 6 simple ways to reduce the leading causes of worldwide infant deaths.
Exclusive Breastfeeding 2 of 7
In third world countries where there is no other option in how to feed your child, breastfeeding is a relatively free and simple way to reduce infant deaths. "Recent studies in Ghana and Nepal suggest that 20 percent of newborn deaths almost 600,000 deaths each year129 could be prevented if all babies were breastfed within the first hour of life." (SaveTheChildren.org)
Infant Resuscitation 3 of 7
Teaching doctors and midwives how to provide immediate resuscitation to a newborn is critical in managing infant mortality rates. Either by equipment or simple techniques like drying the baby and rubbing the chest.
Cost: .50 to $6
Antibiotics 4 of 7
Sepsis, a deadly blood infection, can be treated quickly with injectable antibiotics. These also help other types of infections like pneumonia. Infections can enter the blood stream during pregnancy, birth, or after birth.
Kangaroo Care 5 of 7
Kangaroo care provides immediate skin to skin contact, promoting breastfeeding and lessening the need for expensive incubators that many providers and facilities don't have access to or funds for. This kind of care is critical for preterm and low birthweight babies.
Steroid Shots 6 of 7
Steroid shots help premature lungs develop quicker, for women in or at a high risk for preterm labor. While not pleasant (I've had them before) they can be a life saver for a baby born much to early.
Clean Cord Care 7 of 7
Chlorhexidine can be used to clean both the belly button and umbilical cord stump after birth. It may seem obvious, but belly button infections can be fatal for newborns. Clean and effective care, with sterile equipment to cut the cord, takes care of this problem.
Photo Credit: istockphotos.com
- Read the full report on infant mortality at SaveTheChildren.org.
- What’s the best country to give birth in? Check out the top and the bottom of the list.
- Want to help? Go to http://www.savethechildren.org/world-mothers or follow on Twitter at #SOWM
Diana blogs on raising a toddler daughter, the loss of her twin boys, and a baby boy on the way on the aptly named Hormonal Imbalances. Smaller glimpses into her day are on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
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