More than 1 million babies don’t live beyond one day, a devastating fact that a nonprofit is drawing attention to with a graphic PSA.
Save the Children, an organization that advocates for the health and well-being of children, released a new report that found that half of those newborn casualties could be prevented if a qualified health expert were present.
In addition to releasing its report, "Ending Newborn Deaths," Save the Children is also airing a particularly shocking PSA in England, beginning on Tuesday. Even by British standards, the ad, entitled "First Day," is stunning due to its inclusion of footage of a woman giving birth -- a first for the U.K., according to AdWeek.
The birth was filmed in a facility in Liberia that’s supported by Save the Children, AdWeek reported. By explicitly conveying the distress faced by mother and baby, as well as the critical role the midwife plays in ensuring their safety, the organization hopes to encourage donors to support better healthcare for women in need.
"The first day of a child's life is the most dangerous, and too many mothers give birth alone on the floor of their home or in the bush without any life-saving help," Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children, said in a statement. "We hear horror stories of mothers walking for hours during labor to find trained help, all too often ending in tragedy.”
Across the globe, 40 million women give birth every year without trained help, according to Save the Children.
Many of the babies who die succumb to preventable birth complications, including prolonged labor, pre-eclampsia and infection.
While the U.N. reports that childhood death rates have halved since 1990, Save the Children is asking world leaders to demand better results in the delivery room.
The organization's "Five Point Newborn Promise," focuses on training and equipping enough skilled health workers to ensure that all babies are born with the resources they need to survive.
"These new statistics reveal -- for the first time ever -- the true scale of the newborn crisis," Miles said. "The solutions are well-known but need greater political will to give babies a fighting chance of reaching their second day of life."
Find out how you can help a baby live well beyond her first day here.