After nearly five decades of effective prophylaxis in high-income countries, the incidence of rhesus haemolytic disease (also known as haemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn) has substantially decreased, and as a result, clinical experience of the disease among health-care providers is insufficient. By contrast, a worldwide study found that rhesus haemolytic disease continues to be a public health problem in low-income and middle-income countries, affecting annually in more than 150 000 children, and causing thousands of stillbirths, neonatal deaths, and cases of hyperbilirubinaemia with its sequelae (kernicterus and bilirubin-induced neurological dysfunction). Solutions to this problem will require the combined and integrated effort of physicians and other health-care workers, international agencies, manufacturers of the prophylactic agent (rhesus immunoglobulin), health policy makers, and governments of low-income and middle-income countries.

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