Most of 2.5 million newborn deaths in 2017 were preventable, WHO says

In 2017, more than 2.5 million babies worldwide died, mostly of preventable causes, prompting the World Health Organization to propose initiatives to better the quality of life, according to the WHO.

The report also indicated that about two-thirds of babies who died were born prematurely. Even if they survive, babies born prematurely often face "chronic disease or developmental delays," according to the report. The report also found about 1 million small and sick newborns survive birth, but with long-term disability.

To combat global infant mortality rates, the WHO recommended strategies to be implemented across 81 countries by 2030. About 2.9 million women and their stillborn and newborn babies can be saved with smarter strategies.

Here are six strategies the WHO recommends to prevent infant mortality:

1. Provide comprehensive, round-the-clock inpatient care for newborns seven days a week.

2. Train nurses to give hands-on care to families.

3. Teach parents and families to become expert caregivers for newborns, thereby reducing stress and aiding in weight gain and brain development.

4. Countries should adopt good quality care policies for small or sick newborns.

5. Count small and sick newborns to monitor progress and improve results.

6. Allocate the resources needed to offer comprehensive care for newborns.

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