Maternal & Neonatal Health

More than 4 million infants die each year worldwide. Approximately two-thirds of infant deaths occur during the first month of life, making the first days of a child’s life critical to its survival and future health.

The immediate causes of newborn death include infection, complications related to premature birth, birth asphyxia, and congenital anomalies. Poor maternal nutrition, maternal reproductive tract infections, low birthweight, and access to health services also contribute to newborn deaths. Many of these conditions can easily be prevented or treated.

Over 500,000 women die from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications each year. An additional 15 to 20 million women who actually survive the delivery still suffer debilitating consequences of pregnancy, such as obstetric fistula, that have huge social and economic implications.

Ninety nine percent of maternal and newborn mortality occur in developing countries, where over 50 percent of women still deliver without attendance of skilled health personnel. Babies whose mothers have died during childbirth have a much greater chance of dying in their first year than those whose mothers remain alive.

The IZUMI Foundation supports low-cost, effective programs that sustain the lives of both the mother and the child, recognizing that newborn and maternal health and survival are closely linked.