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Newborns in Adverse Conditions: Issues, Challenges, and Interventions


  • Riccardo Davanzo MD, PhD

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    • 1Riccardo Davanzo, MD, PhD, is a Consultant in Neonatology at the Istituto per l'Infanzia of Trieste. He served as the coordinator of the National Breastfeeding Working Group from 1995 to 2003. He has worked in Mozambique, has provided consultation focused on breastfeeding and thermal control for WHO and UNICEF, and was a contributing author for the WHO documents: Essential Newborn Care and Kangaroo Mother Care, Practical Guidelines.

Riccardo Davanzo, MD, PhD, Neonatology Department, Istituto per l'Infanzia, Via dell'Istria 65/1, 34100 Trieste, Italy. E-mail:


Neonatal mortality is intolerably high in developing countries and in situations of crisis or disaster as a result of inequity, poverty, and lack of health care services. A series of effective, low-cost interventions, based on appropriate technologies can be used to address the main causes of neonatal deaths. Among these interventions, promotion of exclusive breastfeeding and thermal control of the newborn infant are very effective ones. Although the effectiveness of interventions such as kangaroo mother care, newborn resuscitation, and infant massage is not widely recognized, they may have important complementary roles in providing heath care to newborn infants in adverse conditions.