Ending Newborn Deaths. A New Campaign from Save the Children. #firstday

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A couple of weeks ago I attended the Save the Children Blogger Conference.  At that meeting they told us about a brand new campaign that is being launched today which I want to share with my readers. #firstday.

No one should see their #firstday as their last. That is why Save the Children are today launching a brand new campaign which aims to end first-day deaths as they believe that no-one should have just one #firstday.

Today, over on Twitter, between 1pm and 2pm there will be a #firstday twitter chat to launch the campaign. Join @thinlyspread & @savechildrenuk who will be hosting the chat to talk about the favourite first days you remember fondly. They’ll also be joined in the twitter chat by Nigerian midwife Catherine who will describe what a baby’s #firstday is like in remote health clinics in Nigeria.

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Save the Children explain:

For a mum or dad, the first day of a child’s life should be a time of excitement, wonder and hope. A day they will remember forever. But childbirth is often complicated and a newborn child is frighteningly vulnerable.

Every year 2.9 million babies die in their first month. Maybe their tiny airways get blocked, the delivery is obstructed or they are exposed to infections or hypothermia.

Newborn deaths now account for nearly half of all under-five deaths.

The death of one baby is a tragedy. The death of 2.9 million a year is an outrage. And most of these deaths are preventable, with the help of a trained and equipped midwife along with basic medicines such as antiseptics and antibiotics, vital equipment and a clean environment to work in.

These are not difficult things to provide: all it takes is political will from governments around the world to provide the funds to train up and equip midwives.

The world has made amazing progress in saving children’s lives over the past two decades. Thanks to global action on vaccines, family planning and treatment of childhood illness, the number of children who die each year has dropped from 12.6 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012. Save the Children’s social media campaigners have helped us drive so much of this change.

But that isn’t enough – not while 2.9 million babies a year never reach their second month of life. Lack of political focus on newborn deaths is blocking us from being the generation to stop all preventable child deaths.

2014 gives us a unique opportunity to make change happen: For the first time ever, countries and institutions around the world will sit down to agree the Every Newborn Action Plan. We need to make sure world leader’s take action on this and know the world is calling for them to do so.

What we want to achieve:

  • Save the lives of 2 million newborn babies a year
  • Ensure that every baby is born with the support of a trained and equipped midwife

This evening I am joining an Open Mic night hosted by Stephanie at Beautiful Misbehaviour. This is where  people who link to Prose for Thought get together on a Google Hangout and share their poetry. I shall be sharing a poem I have written for #firstday to further help with raising awareness and will be writing it up for Prose for Thought this Thursday. You can watch it live over on Stephanie’s YouTube Channel. There are many ways that you can help raise awareness of the #firstday campaign.

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Sign the petition to ask David Cameron to put a global plan into action to ensure all midwives are equipped and all babies given a better chance as well as influencing other leaders to do the same. You can find the petition HERE.

If you are a blogger:

  1. Write about the campaign online and why it’s so important that the world acts this year to save newborn lives.
  2. Join the 100 word challenge blog linky: ‘What did your midwife do that made sure your baby had a second day?’ Or, if you’re not a parent: ‘What did a midwife do to make sure you had a second day?’ Details will be over on Thinly Spread very soon.

Find out more about the campaign over on the Save the Children website.

Nobody’s #firstday should be their last.

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3 Comments

  1. February 27, 2014 / 2:16 pm

    This is such a great campaign. We’re so lucky in the UK to have modern medicine that we loose sight of much poorer countries. As a paediatrician in the UK, it’s thankfully unusually to see children die, and luckily quite rare on the first day of life. Thank you for sharing this great campaign, I will definitely write a post.

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