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Perinatal and newborn care in South Asia: priorities for action
  1. Nick Brown
  1. Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury, UK;

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Zulfiqar Bhutta. Published by Oxford University PressOxford 2007 pp 288, £9.99 (hardback).. ISBN-13978-0-19-547249-3

South Asia has long been a thorn in the side of global perinatal health. Figures for key indicators are worse even than for sub-Saharan Africa and neonatal and infant mortality rates of up to 70 and 100, respectively (compared to 4 and 7 in western Europe) cannot fail to shock.

Professor Bhutta, a world authority on perinatal care, has assembled a panel of eminent authors in related disciplines to examine the multiple reasons why South Asia continues to languish. The book is primarily aimed at field researchers and policy makers in order to raise awareness of potential interventions, and is set out broadly as follows.

Scene-setting chapters describe individual country experiences in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka aside, progress has been slowed by a number of geographical, cultural and socio-political factors. Bhutta’s excellent and refreshingly …

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