13 September 2017: World Sepsis Day- Shining a spotlight on Maternal and Neonatal Sepsis

Tomorrow is World Sepsis Day. This year the spotlight is on maternal and neonatal sepsis.

Background Information:

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs.

As infections frequently complicate serious diseases, sepsis is a final common pathway to death from both communicable and non-communicable diseases around the world.

If sepsis develops during pregnancy, while or after giving birth, or after an abortion, it is called maternal sepsis.

Sepsis in newborn babies is called neonatal sepsis.

2017-09-12 21_12_40-02_What_Is_Sepsis.pdf - Foxit Reader

Key Messages:

Despite being highly preventable, maternal and neonatal sepsis continues to be a major cause of death and morbidity for pregnant or recently pregnant women and newborn babies.

As a primary or contributing cause, sepsis can be associated with up to 100 000 maternal deaths every year.

Neonatal sepsis kills around 1 million newborn babies every year.


Symptoms and signs of sepsis:

2017-09-12 21_14_41-15_WSD_SPOTSIGNS.pdf - Foxit Reader

Risk Factors:

  • Overcrowding
  • Undergoing Caesarean Sections in resource limited settings
  • Lack of awareness about symptoms and signs of sepsis among health care personnel

2017-09-12 21_15_31-17_WSD_SepsisSources.pdf - Foxit Reader


  • access to clean water and sanitation;
  • access to quality care during pregnancy and birth;
  • responsible and timely access to the right medicines;
  • proper infection prevention and control in hospitals and clinics.
  • proper training of health workers to identify sepsis in time

2017-09-12 21_17_10-07_Early_Therapy_Treatment.pdf - Foxit Reader

Useful Links:

Link to WHO news release on World Sepsis Day 2017:


Link to World Health Assembly resolution on improving the prevention, diagnosis and management of sepsis:


Link to World Sepsis Day <dot> org website:


Link to World Sepsis Day 2017 web page:


Link to World Sepsis Day toolkits:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.