Focusing on a relatively forgotten corner of health care, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated $84 million to two organizations working to prevent needless deaths of babies in the first few days of life.
Around the world, about four million newborns - about as many as are born in the United States annually - die each year from tetanus, pneumonia, asphyxia or low birth weight.
While death rates for young children have dropped substantially since 1960 because of better nutrition and more vaccinations, deaths of newborns have "remained stagnant," said Anne Tinker at the charity Save the Children, which received $60 million.
Save the Children's efforts will be concentrated in 18 countries while PATH, a Seattle-based charity that received $24 million, will use its share to run 17 projects in the two poorest states of India, which has nearly 30 percent of the world's newborn deaths.
[From an article by Donald G. McNeil Jr, The New York Times]