Lloren los recién nacidos

Cada año, cuatro millones de bebés mueren en sus primeras cuatro semanas de vida, más de 10.000 muertes al día. La mayoría de estas muertes neonatales no quedan registradas y permanecen invisibles para todos, excepto sus familias. Prácticamente todas (99%) ocurren en países de ingresos bajos y medios, pero la mayor parte de la investigación y del financiamiento se centra en atención de alta tecnología para el 1% de las muertes en los países ricos.

El mayor riesgo de muerte ocurre al comienzo de la vida: tres cuartos de todas las muertes neonatales (tres millones) suceden dentro de la primera semana después del nacimiento, y al menos un millón de bebés muere en su primer día de vida, muchos de ellos en casa y sin ningún tipo de atención médica formal. Más aún, casi el 40% de todas las muertes infantiles ocurre en el periodo neonatal, y dos tercios del total corresponden a África y el Sur de Asia.

Lamentablemente, los programas de supervivencia infantil en el mundo en desarrollo se han centrado principalmente en la neumonía, la diarrea, la malaria y causas de muerte prevenibles con vacunas después del primer mes de vida, mientras que los programas de maternidad segura se han enfocado principalmente a la madre. La prevención de las muertes de recién nacidos se ha tenido que acomodar como ha podido entre los resquicios de programas que se centran en las madres y en niños de mayor edad.

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