Opportunities for Africa's newborns: Photo feature

Mali. Happy mother and 9 hours old
Save the Children/Michael Bisceglie

Fifteen-year-old mother Fatoumata holds her 9-hour-old son, Moussa. She was 14 when she married and has never attended school. Although only 4 out of 10 births in Mali benefit from skilled care, Fatoumata was able to give birth at a Community Health Center with skilled medical personnel, equipment, and a stocked pharmacy. Bougouni, Mali, June 2003

Mali. Mother and newborn
Save the Children/Michael Bisceglie

Maimouna’s newborn boy is two days old but has no name. Most of the 1.16 babies who die in Africa each year are un-named – up to half a million die on the first day of life. Bougouni, Mali, June 2003

Mother and pre-term newborn
Save the Children/Michael Bisceglie

Kangaroo programme participant, 28 year-old Patuma holds her pre-term newborn wrapped to her chest for warmth. They are at the Mangochi Hospital. The baby is 8 days old. Mangochi, Malawi, August 2005

Sierra Leone. Mother holding newborn
© UNICEF/HQ98-0533/Giacomo Pirozzi

Fatmata, 18, holds her six-day-old newborn in the maternity ward of the government hospital in the southern town of Bo. Limited antenatal care and even less access to skilled care during childbirth, high fees for services, poverty and the war have contributed to Sierra Leone's having one of the highest neonatal mortality rates in the world, estimated at 56 deaths per 1,000 live births, or 13,800 newborn deaths per year. Sierra Leone

Mozambique. Two mothers
Save the children/Michael Bisceglie

Anifa (left) with her 7-month old baby and Lona, with her 3 month-old, are breastfeeding their children on their way to a community health meeting. Mozambique, March 2002