Title : Tackling a hidden burden: Stillbirths in the developing world
During the era of the Millennium Development Goals, the maternal mortality ratio fell by 45% worldwide and the global mortality for children under five years declined by more than 50%. Neonatal mortality also reduced but at a much slower rate. WHO estimated in 2015 that globally 2.7 million babies still die every year in the first 28 days of life and there are 2.6 million stillbirths, half of which occur during labour and birth, and almost of which all take place in low and middle-income countries. This problem has been largely neglected for many years although it is well known that most of these deaths and further maternal deaths could be prevented by providing high quality care during pregnancy and around the time of birth. Attention to neonatal mortality and stillbirths has increased in recent years with two Lancet Series highlighting the size and preventability of this burden and the development of the Global Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) in 2014. The 2016 Lancet Ending Preventable Stillbirths series sought to highlight missed opportunities and identify actions for accelerated progress to end preventable stillbirths. The series concluded with a Call to Action covering three distinct areas – (1) 2030 mortality targets, (2) universal health care coverage targets, and (3) global and national milestones for improving care and outcomes for all mothers and their babies (as specified by the ENAP) and specifically for women and families affected by stillbirth. A Global Scorecard has been produced by the Stillbirth Advocacy Working Group (SAWG) to track progress at a global level towards this Call to Action. The SAWG, founded by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in 2016 and co-chaired by the International Stillbirth Alliance and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, is a group of academics, researchers, parents and advocates from diverse organizations. The SAWG’s mission is to use advocacy for stillbirth prevention and post-stillbirth support. This presentation shares some of the practical examples that are being supported by one of the SAWG members in three countries – Indonesia, Nigeria and Zambia.