Interventions to reduce neonatal and child mortality

A comprehensive overview of nearly 150 published systematic reviews of experimental and observational studies assessed interventions to prevent perinatal/neonatal and child mortality and classified them as effective, promising or ineffective. Effective interventions were: antenatal corticosteroids to prevent neonatal respiratory distress syndrome in preterm infants; early initiation of breastfeeding; hygienic cord care; kangaroo care for preterm infants; provision and promotion of use of insecticide treated bed nets (ITNs) for children; and vitamin A supplementation for infants from six months of age. Promising interventions were: antenatal care, tetanus immunization in pregnancy, prophylactic antimalarials during pregnancy, induction of labour for prolonged pregnancy, case management of neonatal sepsis, meningitis and pneumonia, prophylactic and therapeutic use of surfactant, continuous positive airway pressure for neonatal resuscitation, case management of childhood malaria and pneumonia, vitamin A as part of treatment for measles associated pneumonia, and home visits across the continuum of care.

Interventions to improve neonatal health and later survival. Lassi et al, 2015.