Public Release: 

International Meeting To Reduce Neonatal Mortaltiy

Child Health Research Project

CHR Funds International Meeting to Reduce Neonatal Mortality | May 1999

Neonatal mortality - or death with the first 28 days - represents 2/3 of all infant mortality in the United States, and remains a significant problem in the developing world, even as overall rates of infant mortality decline. This is largely due to the lack of interventions and programs to specifically target health problems in the prenatal period, and in the critical, early days of infancy. The most common causes of neonatal mortality include low birth weight and maternal malnutrition, reproductive tract infections, infectious diseases (pneumonia and diarrhea), malaria and exposure to toxic substances.

An international meeting funded by USAID's Child Health Research Project and hosted by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, May 10-12, 1999 will systematically examine the extent and causes of the problem of perinatal and neonatal mortality and the potential importance of various interventions. Further, the conference will identify interventions that can be implemented more fully now or in the near future. It will also identify applied research questions that can be addressed to assist with this implementation or with the development of new ways to reduce excess perinatal and neonatal mortality.

Speakers will represent a wide variety of organizations, such as WHO, UNICEF, CDC, the Karolinska Institute and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Health researchers from the developing countries, including Zimbabwe, Indonesia and Bangladesh will also present their work.

Experts in neonatal mortality to speak at the meeting include:

    Robert E. Black, MD, MPH (Meeting Organizer)
    Kenneth H. Hill, Ph.D. (Levels and Trends in Neonatal Mortality)
    Barbara Stoll, M.D., Staffan Bergstrom M.D., Ph.D., and Dr. Kim Mullholland (Infectious Diseases)
    Dr. Shea Rutstein, (Socioeconomic Factors, Child Spacing, Mother's Age at Birth, Birth Size)
    Michael Koenig, Ph.D. (Effects of Parity on Neonatal Mortality)
    Andrea Ruff, M.D. (Effect of HIV on Perinatal/Neonatal Mortality)
    Shams El Arifeen, MBBS, Dr. PH (Prematurity and Intrauterine Growth Retardation)
    Canine Ronsmans, M.D., Dr. PH. (Complications of Pregnancy and Childbirth)
    Iain Aitken, MB BChir, M.P.H. (Exposure to Toxins)
    Laura Caulfield, Ph.D. & Wafie Fawzi, M.D., Dr. PH. (Maternal Nutritional Interventions)
    Rick Steketee, M.D., M.PH. (Malaria Prophylaxis)
    Ron Gray, MBBS, MSc. (Reproductive Tract Infections)
    Mark Steinhoff, M.D. (Maternal and Neonatal Immunizations)
    Frederik Broekhuizen, M.D. & Marge Koblinsky, (Interventions During Delivery)
    Dr. Jelka Zupan (Resuscitation of the Newborn)
    Dr. Kyllike Christensson (Basic Care and Thermal Control)
    Sandra Huffman, Sc.D. (Breastfeeding and Nutritional Support)
    Gary Darmstadt, M.D. (Infection Control)
    Jeane McDermott (Barriers of Program Implementation)
    Dr. Olivier Fontaine (WHO/UNICEF's Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) Approach)
    Rosa Kambarami, M.D. (Kangaroo Care Method)
    Mohammad Hakimi, M.D., Ph.D., and Abhay Bang, M.D., MPH. (Integrated Community Interventions)
If you would like further information about neonatal mortality research, or to arrange interviews with speakers, please contact Laura M. Kelley at: 410-614-5439. E-mail:


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