Neonatal sepsis is a major health problem globally. Every year an estimated 30 million newborns acquire infection and 1-2 million of these babies die. However, many of these deaths can be prevented through increased coverage of existing essential maternal and newborn health packages. Measures to prevent infections (e.g., handwashing and other hygienic practices) are emphasized in addition to specifically identifying and treating newborns at the community level. This is critical as most newborn infections develop at home and facility treatment is often unavailable. Treatment strategies must include timely care-seeking for newborn danger signs, prompt identification of illness, and treatment with antibiotics.
Neonatal sepsis prevention and treatment interventions begin during the antenatal period and continue through the childbirth and postnatal periods. The key specific interventions for the three periods are: