Annually, 136 million babies are born worldwide. Birth asphyxia is the second leading cause of neonatal death causing 1-2 million deaths each year, 96% of them in low and middle-income countries. Successful resuscitation could prevent a large proportion of these deaths and improve the outcomes of neonates surviving asphyxia. A recent study from Burkina Faso reported a neonatal mortality rate (NMR) of 46 per 1000. High Income countries such as Sweden have seen a dramatic reduction of NMR from 7,9 per 1000 in 1973 to 1,6 per 1000, however more then 200 children per year are still at risk of brain damage after asphyxia.
In low resource settings even simple things as proper ventilation are often not being performed. The quality of resuscitation in both facility and community-based births must rise.