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The Lancet Series on Ending Preventable Stillbirths

This series of articles, published in the Lancet, focuses on ending preventable stillbirths (the death of a baby at 28 weeks gestation or more).  This new series updates the 2011 Lancet Series on Stillbirths.  The updated series provides the first global analysis of risk factors associated with stillbirths, highlighting that many deaths can be preventable.  It also updates stillbirth rates for 195 countries, reviews the economic, social, and psychosocial consequences, and proposes specific criteria for successful integration of stillbirths into post-2015 initiatives for women’s and children’s health.

The key findings include:

  • More than 2.6 million stillbirths occur each year
  • Half of all stillbirths (1.3 million) occur during labour and birth, most of which could be prevented with improved quality of care during pregnancy and childbirth
  • 98% of all stillbirths occur in low- and middle-income countries
  • Progress in reducing the rate of stillbirths has been much slower than progress made for maternal and child deaths
  • Stillbirths have profound psychological, social and economic impacts on parents, families, caregivers, and countries

The Series was developed by 216 experts from more than 100 organisations in 43 countries.  It comprises five papers:

  • The first article reviews progress against the 2011 call to action for stillbirth prevention
  • The second article assess the rates and risk factors for stillbirths and reviews progress since the Lancet Stillbirths Series in 2011
  • The third article assesses the economic and psychosocial consequences of stillbirths worldwide
  • The fourth article is a recall to action for stillbirths in high-income countries
  • The fifth article identifies actions to end preventable stillbirths by 2030

To read the Lancet Series on ending preventable stillbirths, click here.

The Lancet Ending Preventable Stillbirths Series study group. (2016). Ending Preventable Stillbirths Series. The Lancet, S0140-6736(15).  
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