Reducing neonatal mortality is an essential part of the third Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), to end preventable child deaths. Between 1990 and 2017, the global NMR decreased by 51% from 36·6 deaths per 1000 livebirths in 1990, to 18·0 deaths per 1000 livebirths in 2017. Between 2018 and 2030, it is projected that 27·8 million children will die in their first month of life if each country maintains its current rate of reduction in NMR. If each country achieves the SDG neonatal mortality target of 12 deaths per 1000 livebirths or fewer by 2030, 22·7 million cumulative neonatal deaths are projected by 2030-saving 6 million babies! More than 60 countries need to accelerate their progress to reach the neonatal mortality SDG target by 2030.
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