#15babiesaday initiative helps raise awareness of child deaths

Yesterday Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity) erected washing lines with 15 baby grows hanging from them, in iconic locations around the UK to provoke a discussion as to why 15 babies die before, during or shortly after birth every day in the UK.

The locations included the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, Cardiff City Hall, Edinburgh Castle, Scottish Parliament and Belfast City Hall.

On average, one baby dies every 90 minutes in the UK. While the number of deaths has fallen in recent years, this is no time to be complacent. We are moving three times slower than some other European countries to save lives. The rate of mortality also varies hugely from region to region, reflecting a map of poverty and health inequality. This postcode lottery is unacceptable.

Dr Clea Harmer, Chief Executive of Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity), said: “The aim of #15babiesaday is to not only highlight the unacceptable fact that 15 babies die before, during and shortly after birth every day in the UK, but also to encourage the public to talk about baby death which is often a taboo subject.

“I hope that the washing lines containing 15 babygrows that will be seen in many prominent locations across the UK, will help provoke debate and discussion as to why do so many babies die and what can be done to reduce this number. We are determined to ensure that every bereaved parent gets the care and support they need and deserve.”

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is supporting #15babiesaday. Midwives will be promoting the initiative on social media by using the hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and on their LinkedIn accounts. Commenting, RCM’s Director of Midwifery, Louise Silverton said: “The RCM is supporting Sands with their latest campaign #15babiesaday as we believe that it is crucial to work together to reduce antenatal stillbirths and avoidable baby deaths.

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