Wehe den Neugeborenen

Jedes Jahr sterben vier Millionen Babies innerhalb der ersten vier Wochen nach der Geburt – mehr als 10.000 am Tag. Die meisten dieser neonatalen Todesfälle werden nicht erfasst; sie bleiben außerhalb der Familie unsichtbar. Praktisch alle (99%) ereignen sich in Ländern mit niedrigem oder mittlerem Volkseinkommen, aber Forschung und Finanzierung konzentrieren sich auf die hoch technisierte Pflege für jene restlichen 1% Todesfälle, die sich in den reichen Ländern ereignen.

Das größte Sterberisiko besteht am Anfang des Lebens: Drei Viertel aller neonatalen Todesfälle (drei Millionen) ereignen sich innerhalb von einer Woche nach der Geburt, und mindestens eine Million Babys sterben an ihrem ersten Lebenstag – viele zu Hause und ohne jegliche formelle gesundheitliche Betreuung. Mehr noch: Nahezu 40% aller Kindstode ereignen sich während des neonatalen Zeitraums, zwei Drittel davon in Afrika und Südasien.

Unglücklicherweise konzentrieren sich Programme zur Rettung der Kinder in den Entwicklungsländern bisher hauptsächlich auf Lungenentzündung, Durchfall, Malaria und durch Impfungen vermeidbare Todesursachen nach dem ersten Lebensmonat, während bei Programmen zur Gewährleistung einer sicheren Mutterschaft primär die Mutter im Blickpunkt steht. Die Vermeidung von Todesfällen bei Neugeborenen fällt also quasi durch die Ritzen von Programmen, die sich auf Mütter und ältere Kinder konzentrieren.

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