Juniper was born in October 2014 at a hospital in rural Utah. Just three days earlier, the hospital had started using FedEx to ship newborn screening samples overnight to Utah's state lab. Previously, they used regular mail, which meant some babies blood samples took more than five days to get to the lab.
Of the 3 million babies the world loses every year in their first month of life, 99 percent are in the developing world, meaning this is simply an issue of poverty and lack of resources. The weeks following birth are an incredibly vulnerable time, but astoundingly 2 million newborns could be saved with a few low-cost measures.
Newborn health is inextricably connected to maternal health. Similarly to maternal mortality, preventable diseases are the major causes of under-five deaths. Inadequate nutrition, limited access to clean water and poor healthcare infrastructures lead to the spread of preventable infectious diseases.
Smart collaboration is about working together to improve health outcomes for vulnerable, underserved and marginalized women and children in resource-poor environments. Although uniting in coalition toward collective action is not always easy, it allows us to learn from each other and leverage our strengths to improve the lives of women and children globally.