Maternal and Child Health

India’s Newborn Action Plan

Globally, 2.9 million newborns die within the first month of life. India, with a population totalling 17.5 percent of the global population, accounts for a startling 27 percent of the global newborn mortality rate with over 780,000 newborn deaths every year, the highest newborn mortality rate in the world. On September 17th, India launched its national Newborn Action Plan (INAP) to stop and reverse this disturbing trend.

Image c/o Gates Foundation

Based on the findings and strategies promoted in The Lancet’s Every Newborn series, INAP aims to reduce India’s newborn mortality rate from its current 29 deaths per 1,000 births to under 10 deaths per 1,000 births by 2030. In order to accomplish this goal, INAP focuses on improving the following six evidence-based, effective strategies:

  1. Preconception and antenatal care
  2. Care during labor and childbirth
  3. Immediate newborn care
  4. Care of healthy newborns
  5. Care of small and sick newborns
  6. Care beyond newborn survival

Additionally, the issue of gendercide does not go ignored. Because a girl’s family traditionally must pay a dowry in order to marry, families – especially in poorer regions – favor having boys over girls. As a result, each month approximately 50,000 female fetuses are aborted or killed at birth, thrown into rivers, or simply left to die. An estimated one million girls in India “disappear” every year. With INAP, the Health Ministry takes this long-standing tradition of gender-bias into account and aims to eliminate gender-based differences in newborn health care.

“These are preventable deaths and now we have an action plan for preventing them.” – Harsh Vardhan, India Health Minister

Although India as a whole is on track to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 (reducing child mortality and maternal mortality by two-thirds and three-quarters respectively), MDG success is not consistent across the country. For example, the state of Kerala already has a neonatal mortality rate of seven deaths per 1,000 births, yet the poorer states of Bihar, UP, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are far behind, with a combined neonatal mortality rate amounting to 56 percent of such deaths nationwide.

“Healthy mothers and healthy children are crucial for India to realize the demographic dividend.” – Melinda Gates

It is important to emphasize that India’s efforts to reduce the newborn mortality rate are not limited to merely survival. With the launch of INAP, the Health Ministry will focus increased attention on improving the health and lives of both healthy and sick newborns. In a country where shunning those with disabilities, neuro-developmental delays, and birth defects is not uncommon, recognizing the value of all newborns, both sick and healthy, is a major step in the right direction.

With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization and UNICEF, India’s Health Ministry is confident in its ability to reduce newborn deaths nationwide – and if India’s INAP efforts echo the success of its anti-polio campaign, the future for India’s newborns looks promising.


  1. Share
  2. Tweet
  3. Copy Link
Category: Maternal and Child Health
Tagged with: #Commit2Deliver    #MDGMomentum    Every Newborn    Health    INAP    India    MDG    newborn

Add a comment

  • Avatar
    Sara Molodow

    Hello everyone,

    My name is Mrs Amal Danny and i am talking as the happiest person in the whole wide world today and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will tell the name to the whole wild world and i am so happy to say that my family is back for good because i was in need a loan of £ 100,000 to start my life all over as i am a single mum with 4 kids and the whole world seemed like it was hanging on me until i met the GOD sent loan lender that changed my life and that of my family, a GOD fearing lender, Mr Oscar James, he was the Savior GOD sent to rescue my family and at first i thought it was not going to be possible until i received my loan of £ 100,000 on the 11th/May/2015 and i will advise any one who is in genuine need of a loan to contact Mr.Oscar James via email at ( because he is the most understanding and kind hearten lender.

    thanks you all for listening,

  • Avatar
    michael mazur

    Funny thing about India, they have the resources to build nukes – they have about 100 of them, but not the resources to do away with dowry, which, as you say, is behind this gendercide, as girls are as wonderful as boys.

    Yet, I’m not aware that the Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation has made this obvious connection, and for them to then further say that they exhort both India and Pakistan to reduce their nuclear stockpile to about ten nukes each – if some residual number makes them feel better, to then use the material from the surplus nukes to power a joint space exploratory effort with a view to finding a suitable planet for colonisation.

    I’m being absolutely serious, because what will stop super power rivalry as between America and Russia, is their experiencing sheer envy of Indian and Pakistani brilliance – by the default of the casting of all rivalries between nations as being absurdly petty, and potentially lethal beyond description.

    All nations’ leaders need to have a look at planet Earth from the region of Pluto, and it’s dark greyness is barely discernible from the background near black of space, and relatively speaking, Pluto is not far away, meaning nobody will even notice if we incinerate ourselves, as distances between inhabited planets within the galaxy are too vast for there to be any awareness on any one of them of the existence of intelligent life elsewhere within it.

Join the conversation by leaving a comment below.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.