Global Policy on Early Home Visits
In many developing countries, most poor women deliver at home. Few large-scale community-based studies have tested strategies to deliver newborn support with existing infrastructures and mortality as an outcome.
- Research: Our findings from Sylhet, Bangladesh showed home visits on day one of life along with antenatal home visit by trained community health workers to promote an integrated package of preventative and curative newborn care reduced deaths by about 2/3rd.
- Policy: The same year as our findings were published, WHO and UNICEF made a policy statement recommending at least two home visits by frontline health workers on day 1 and day 3 of life.
- Practice: This intervention has the potential to substantially reduce newborn mortality but coverage remains low in many developing countries. It will be important to develop context specific strategies through implementation research to increase coverage to the poorest communities.
- Impact: Home visits by community health workers by day two of life could save more than a million babies every year.