The countries of the Region have 25% of the global population and more than 40% of neonatal deaths. After a steady decline in infant mortality rate, there is stagnation attributable to continued high neonatal mortality rates. In several countries, neonatal mortality is about two-thirds of infant mortality. In the hospitals, prematurity tops the cause of deaths while in the community, infections lead the list of causes. The incidence of LBW is high in the countries of the Region varying between 7% in Thailand to 50% in Bangladesh. Implementation of simple interventions with proven effectiveness on neonatal outcomes needs to be accelerated at the country level. In addition there is a need to identify the most cost -effective interventions to manage the neonates at first level health facilities and referral institutions and promote their implementation. The Millennium Development Goals (2015) of reducing under five and infant mortality rates cannot be realised unless neonatal mortality declines by about 50% of the current levels. The neonatal mortality is quite amenable to reduction, since evidence-based, affordable and effective interventions are available to improve neonatal health and reduce neonatal mortality. The recommendations of the symposium would help the counties of the region in scaling up of successful programmes and also modifying the ongoing programmes.
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