Low cost measures could save lives of three million babies a yearBMJ 2005; 330 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.330.7491.557-a (Published 10 March 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:557
All rapid responses
The low cost option suggested by the author sounds more realistic with regard to saving infant lives in developing country settings given its poor health infrastructure and limited access to high-tech interventions. The interventions like immunizing pregnant women, promoting safe delivery, prompt and exclusive breast feeding as well as availability of antibiotics to treat neonatal infection need to be prioritised in any infant and child survival initiative. This is a timely reminder and an optimistic message in the current context of reducing infant mortality rate (IMR) in the poorest regions of the world as part of Millennium Development Goals. Emphasis on promoting safety in delivery care practices and bringing all expectant mothers within the immunization net might help to a large extent in circumstances of wide-spread practice of home delivery. While sufficient research evidence exist to say that low birth weight contributes largely to neonatal deaths, the child survival initiatives do not focus on restricting low birth weight by concentrating on making expectant mothers sufficiently nourished. Often the intervention strategies could be different depending on the level of IMR from where a reduction is attempted. Because, the dominant cause of infant death varied with prevailing levels of IMR.
Competing interests: None declared
Competing interests: No competing interests