In developing countries, 28 percent of newborn deaths are due to infections, many of which enter through the umbilical cord. We are at the forefront of global efforts to prevent newborn infections by promoting the use of chlorhexidine, a simple antiseptic, to treat freshly cut umbilical cord stumps.
In countries including Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Madagascar, we have worked with ministries to introduce, package, test, and scale-up the use of chlorhexidine for both home and health facility deliveries.
In 2013, we were awarded a Pioneer Prize for Science and Technology from USAID in recognition of the global influence of our life-saving chlorhexidine program in Nepal. Our work has been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, the Government of Norway, Grand Challenges Canada, DFID, and UNFPA.