An early neo-natal death is when a child dies during the first week of his or her life. In 2000 there were 3 million such deaths. Worldwide, 2.3% of children that were born alive died during the following week.
The rate of deaths in the first week of life ranges from 1 in a thousand in Japan, to 1 in 20 in Mauritania.
According to the World Health Organisation, worldwide the three main causes of neo-natal deaths are asphyxia at birth; low birth weight including prematurity; and infections. Access to healthcare can reduce these deaths.