25 May 2011 | Perinatal & Maternal Mortality Review Committee
The Lancet has published the last article in a series of six papers that have detailed the global extent of the world's 2·6 million third-trimester stillbirths, where they occur, and what can be done to prevent them.
Around 2.6 million stillbirths (the death of a baby at 28 weeks’ gestation or more) occur each year. Although 98% of these deaths take place in low-income and middle-income countries, stillbirths also continue to affect wealthier nations, with around 1 in every 300 babies stillborn in high-income countries. The Series highlights the rates and causes of stillbirth globally, explores cost-effective interventions to prevent stillbirths (as well as maternal and neonatal deaths), and sets key actions to halve stillbirth rates by 2020.
Launched to the press in London, New York, Hobart, Geneva, New Delhi, Florence, and Cape Town in mid-April, the Series was covered by more than 1000 individual news organisations, including 100 US television stations and 200 other television networks and national television stations. Many outlets ran families' personal experiences of stillbirths—voices that were previously silent. Almost a billion people heard about the Series via radio, television, print, and the internet.