[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/09/23/kalil.newborns/art.tom.kalil.jpg caption="Tom Kalil says an inexpensive kit can save the lives of many newborns."]
Editor's Note: The Clinton Global Initiative, founded by former President Bill Clinton, is meeting in New York this week, focusing on issues such as health, poverty and climate change. Tom Kalil is chairman of the initiative's global health working group and special assistant to the chancellor for science and technology at the University of California, Berkeley. In the Clinton administration, Kalil was deputy assistant for technology and economic policy and deputy director of the White House Economic Council.
Special to CNN
Last year, 9.2 million children didn't make it to their fifth birthday. Of these, roughly 4 million children died within the first 28 days of life - the newborn period.
Many of these newborns die for reasons that are easily treatable or preventable. Their lives could be saved with very simple and low-cost interventions. For example, birth attendants can wash their hands before helping with a delivery, and use a clean blade to cut the umbilical cord.
Mothers can breast-feed their babies within an hour after birth and provide exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months.
This week, a group of leading organizations are joining together to help give moms and dads around the world tools and information to help their newborns survive. PATH (a Seattle-based nonprofit), Save the Children, and Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health will commit to create and distribute a "Better Beginning for Babies" kit.
Their goal is to raise at least $20 million over five years and reach 2 million newborns, and set the stage for a much larger and more ambitious global movement.
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