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UNICEF has released new data on stillbirth. In 14 countries – including three low- and lower-middle income countries (Cambodia, India, Mongolia) – the stillbirth rate decreased by more than half between 2000 and 2019. More insights into the situation with stillbirths around the world can be found here
The Healthy Newborn Network has updated its Newborn Numbers page and related tools with the latest data to help guide country and regional policies, planning, and implementation of life saving interventions to avert preventable newborn and maternal deaths, and stillbirths.
On 31 March 2022, U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Stillbirth Health Improvement and Education (SHINE) for Autumn Act, legislation that aims to reduce the alarmingly high U.S. stillbirth rate. “Losing Autumn led me to lose my faith—that is until now,” said Debbie Haine Vijayvergiya, mother to Autumn Joy for whom the bill is named and founder of the 2 Degrees Foundation. “Watching this issue receive such overwhelming support over the past few months has been healing for my soul. I wholeheartedly commend the bipartisan effort to advance the SHINE for Autumn Act and am deeply grateful to Senator Cory Booker and Senator Marco Rubio for championing this critical piece of legislation in the Senate. At the end of the day, losing tens of thousands of babies every year should not be acceptable. We have a responsibility to understand why stillbirths are happening and identify what can be done to combat this crisis. We can no longer ignore this issue. We can, and must, do better for our future moms and children. The time has come for us to SHINE a light on stillbirth so that we can bring this tragic maternal and family health issue out of the shadows once and for all!” Full text of the SHINE for Autumn Act can be found here. Quotes written in support of the legislation by national and New Jersey organizations can be found here. A full list of organizations endorsing the bill can be found here.
HB1031, allowing issuance of a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth in Washington State, was officially signed into law by Governor Inslee on April 16, 2021. See links below
Return To Zero :
Why we need to end the silence around pregnancy loss: by Lisa K Hanasono PhD. January 2021
There is unequivocal evidence that the scaling up of midwives will reduce stillbirths and neonatal deaths and should be a key consideration for ENAP milestones.
- A new study by the SOWMy team on the Impact of Midwives has been launched by UNFPA and the Wilson Center.
- A full recording of the session has been uploaded on the Wilson Center website.
The Every Newborn-INDEPTH study involved >68,000 births and aimed to provide evidence to improve population-based survey data regarding pregnancy outcomes. Each year there are 5.1 million neonatal deaths and stillbirths, plus about 0.3 million maternal deaths worldwide. Around 75% of these deaths are still dependent on surveys, notably Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), as main data sources. The study was conducted in five Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) sites from the INDEPTH Network in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau and Uganda, plus a coordinating team at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Makerere University School of Public Health and funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). The protocol was published in 2018 and the main study paper in Lancet Global Health this year.
The EN-BIRTH study involved observing >23,000 births using an innovative tablet-based system to validate data from routine facility registers and women’s survey report. The study was conducted in five hospitals in Bangladesh, Nepal and Tanzania, coordinated by a team at LSHTM and funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). The protocol was published in 2019 and the main study paper is in The Lancet Global Health (in press).
The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), White Ribbon Alliance, and Every Woman Every Child, sponsored the annual “Accountability Breakfast 2020: Advancing Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health During COVID-19.” The event was watched by more than 2,200 people from 110+ countries representing governments, health practitioners, UN agencies, the private sector, civil society, media, researchers and academia. Take a moment to review the event summary and key highlights. If you missed some of the event or would like to refer to a portion of the event, you can access it on the website, which also contains videos, interviews and other resources for continued advocacy.
The Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP):
- Every Newborn Coverage Targets and Milestones for 2025: The event can be viewed onYouTube and the slide deck can be found here; All the documents presented during the launch can be found at this link and include:
- Every Newborn Coverage Targets and Milestones to 2025
- Survive and Thrive Transforming Care for Newborns (2019)
- Standards of Care for Newborn Health (2020)
- Every Newborn Report & Executive Summary 2019 (2020)
- ENAP was endorsed by the UN in 2014, and set the first global goals for stillbirth rate reduction. ENAP tracking is undertaken in high-burden countries annually by UNICEF (90 countries in 2019)
- 2014 WHO resolution endorsing ENAP http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA67/A67_R10-en.pdf
- 2015 Progress Report https://www.who.int/life-course/publications/enap-progress-report/en/
- 2018 Progress Report https://www.healthynewbornnetwork.org/resource/every-newborn-progress-report-2018/
Stillbirth rate data by country:
- The updated UN-IGME website for child mortality estimates now includes a stillbirth database and estimates; see childmortality.org
- The Ending Preventable Stillbirths:A renewed call for collective action recording can be viewed here
- The UN-IGME stillbirth report was published on Oct 8, 2020 with updated data tables; it can be downloaded here
- A Partner Social Media Pack for the stillbirth report is available here
- Photos from the report are available here. Please credit UNICEF wherever these are used.
- In addition, Key Messages in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish and Russian and social media materials in Arabic, French and Spanish are available upon request from UNICEF; please email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance in requesting these.
- There are opportunities to work with UNICEF to further amplify voices around the stillbirth report. UNICEF says “If you are working on any of your own web stories, newsletters or have any other ideas about how we can amplify these stories further, please do get in touch and we can explore further.” Contact ISA at email@example.com for assistance in connecting with UNICEF to follow up on this opportunity.
- World Health Organization (WHO) Global Health Observatory – http://apps.who.int/gho/data/view.main.GSWCAH06v
- Family planning is a key component of reducing stillbirth rates and is part of the Lancet’s Call to Action.
- Family planning use data is estimated using data from surveys such as the DHS, RHS, MICS, PMA2020 and other nationally representative surveys, service statistics and population data. Updated annually. http://www.track20.org/
Global development goals:
- The Millennium Development Goals were launched in 2000 and did not include a stillbirth rate target https://www.who.int/topics/millennium_development_goals/about/en/
- The Sustainable Development Goals were launched in 2015 and also did not include a stillbirth rate target https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs
- The Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health was launched with the SDGs in 2015 and does include a stillbirth rate target in its tracking facility after advocacy from many organizations including ISA https://www.who.int/life-course/partners/global-strategy/en/
- The Independent Accountability Panel was established by the UN to provide accountability for implementation of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health https://iapewec.org/about/
Key stillbirth-related series:
- Lancet 2011 Stillbirths series: https://www.thelancet.com/series/stillbirth
- Lancet 2016 Ending Preventable Stillbirths series: https://www.thelancet.com/series/ending-preventable-stillbirths
- Executive Summary
- English https://www.thelancet.com/pb/assets/raw/Lancet/stories/series/stillbirths2016-exec-summ.pdf
- Chinese https://els-jbs-prod-cdn.literatumonline.com/pb/assets/raw/Lancet/stories/series/stillbirths2016/ExecSum-Stillbirths-Chinese-1455135158063.pdf
- French https://els-jbs-prod-cdn.literatumonline.com/pb/assets/raw/Lancet/stories/series/stillbirths2016/ExecSum-Stillbirths-French-1455135169860.pdf
- Italian https://els-jbs-prod-cdn.literatumonline.com/pb/assets/raw/Lancet/stories/series/stillbirths2016/ExecSum-Stillbirths-Italian-1455135179693.pdf
- Portuguese https://els-jbs-prod-cdn.literatumonline.com/pb/assets/raw/Lancet/stories/series/stillbirths2016/ExecSum-Stillbirths_Portuguese-1455135187250.pdf
- Spanish https://els-jbs-prod-cdn.literatumonline.com/pb/assets/raw/Lancet/stories/series/stillbirths2016/ExecSum-Stillbirths-Spanish-1455135148227.pdf
- Executive Summary
- Lancet 2014 Every Newborn series: https://www.thelancet.com/series/everynewborn
- Lancet 2014 Midwifery series: https://www.thelancet.com/series/midwifery
- BJOG 2018 Stillbirth issue: https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/14710528/2018/125/2
Country- and region-specific stillbirth research resources:
- Australia: Research at the Stillbirth Collaborative Research Centre https://www.stillbirthcre.org.au/our-research/
- USA: Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network https://www.nichd.nih.gov/research/supported/scrn
- UK: National Maternal and Perinatal Audit, UK https://maternityaudit.org.uk/pages/home