Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

MCA Year in Review 2016

A mother, infant, child and adolescents.

December 2016 -- A review of some of the highlights from WHO's Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health during 2016. The year began with publication of a Lancet Series on breastfeeding and culminated in a review of child health globally including progress in the Integrated Management of Child Illness (IMCI) since 1995. Continuing the focus on quality of care, the year also saw the drafting of guidance to help countries better promote the health of adolescents and action to prevent maternal deaths and stillbirths.

Strategic review of child health worldwide analyzes past lessons to chart the way forward

A yound girl sits with her arm around an infant.
Partha Sarathi Sahana

7 December 2016 | Geneva – Over the past quarter century, child mortality has more than halved, dropping from 91 to 43 deaths per 1000 live births between 1990 and 2015. Yet in 2015 an estimated 5.9 million children still died before reaching their fifth birthday, most from conditions that are readily preventable or treatable with proven, cost-effective interventions. A new WHO-led report, Towards a grand convergence for child survival and health, shares analysis from 20 years of implementation of child health strategies and what steps are needed to ensure each child can survive and thrive.

UN human rights experts: Countries should increase support for breastfeeding, end inappropriate marketing of breast-milk substitutes

A mother breastfeeding her baby, Hong Kong.
EPA/Alex Hofford

22 November 2016 -- Today, UN human rights experts told countries that they need to do more to protect, promote and support breastfeeding as a human right, including ending the inappropriate marketing of breast-milk substitutes and other foods intended for infants and young children. The joint statement was issued by the UN Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Food and the Right to Health, the UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice, and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

New data visualization tool to aid monitoring of progress for the Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD)

Children take water from a river.

This new tool presents data on 24 key indicators related to the protection, prevention and treatment of diarrhoea and pneumonia in children under 5 years of age, and 2 indicators on mortality due to the 2 diseases. Through maps and graphs, this visualization tool enables users to monitor: progress against GAPPD/SDG targets for 2025/2030/2040; the availability, completeness and sources of data; the distribution and trends of policy, coverage and health impact indicators.

New guidelines on antenatal care for a positive pregnancy experience

7 November 2016 – WHO has issued a new series of recommendations to improve quality of antenatal care to reduce the risk of stillbirths and pregnancy complications and give women a positive pregnancy experience. By focusing on a positive pregnancy experience, these new guidelines seek to ensure not only a health pregnancy for mother and baby, but also an effective transition to positive labour and childbirth and ultimately to a positive experience of motherhood.

Midwives' voices, midwives' realities report 2016

13 October 2016 -- The "Midwives voices, midwives realities report 2016" documents the voices and realities of 2740 midwifery personnel in 93 countries and describes, from their perspective, the barriers they experience to providing quality, respectful care for women, newborns and their families. The findings highlight that hierarchies of power and gender discrimination hinder progress, but also demonstrate the great potential for improvements in quality of care when the voices of midwives are heard.

Investing in early childhood development essential

A father holds his young child.
WHO/D Rodriguez

5 October 2016 – An estimated 43% of children under 5 years of age in low- and middle-income countries – 249 million children – are at risk of not reaching their developmental potential, according to a new publication series from The Lancet. WHO contributed to the series, which reveals effective interventions that may cost as little as 50 US cents per child per year when combined with existing services.

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Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (MCA)
World Health Organization
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Tel.: +41 22 791 3281
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