The newborn health gap between rich and poor countries remains unacceptably high. Today, worldwide newborn deaths account for nearly 41% of all deaths in children under-five. Making survival a reality for millions of babies is a global burden, progress is being made but investment is not yet commensurate with the staggeringly high number of deaths.
Around 2.955 million babies a year die in the first four weeks of life. The first week is the riskiest, and at least a million die on their very first day. Prematurity is the leading direct cause of deaths worldwide and globally accounts for more than a million deaths each year.
Newborns are so very fragile; the smallest, sickest babies need special care. Our work supports the advancement of neonatal intensive care in Vietnam. The goal is to start to close the gap between developing and developed world standards of newborn care. To do this we must address the critical shortage of nurses, trained health workers and basic specialist lifesaving equipment.
We are three months into our UK/Da Nang Vietnam neonatal nurse training our academics from Canterbury Christ Church University are really pleased with progress and the incredible hunger of the nurses for knowledge and best practice for implementing this knowledge.
Dr Sue Blake, Newborns Vietnam Trustee and newly retired GP with a background in child development started her retirement with six weeks at the Da Nang neonatal unit.
MP George Howarth, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Vietnam with fellow MPs Anne McGuire, Dame Tessa Jowell, Mark Field, and Graham Brady visited the Da Nang neonatal intensive care unit to discuss enhancing and adding value to our UK/Da Nang Vietnam neonatal nurse education part