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Better hospital care and women’s groups reduced neonatal mortality in Malawi by a quarter

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 27 June 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f4127
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

The introduction in Malawi of a hospital quality improvement programme, combined with community action to encourage pregnant women to seek antenatal care earlier, has led to a 23% drop in neonatal mortality, a study has found.

The MaiKhanda project, led by the UK Health Foundation, was a five year programme aimed at improving maternal healthcare in three districts in Malawi covering a population of two million people.

An evaluation of the project found that the interventions reduced neonatal mortality from 34 to 27 deaths per 1000 live births between 2006 and 2011.1 The rate of reduction increased over time, so that in the last 15 months of the study neonatal mortality fell by 28% in total.

The study, which compared 14 576 births at …

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