Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

A mother feeds her preterm newborns.

World Prematurity Day - "Let them thrive"

17 November 2017 -- World Prematurity Day is an opportunity to call attention to the heavy burden of death and disability and the pain and suffering that preterm birth causes, as well as a chance to talk about solutions. This year the theme is "Let them thrive," focusing on quality, equity and dignity. On this day, WHO, UNICEF and PATH have released a policy statement on ensuring equitable access to human milk for all infants

A group of women meeting at a rally.

An evidence map to better target research on social, behavioural and community engagement interventions for women’s and children’s health

6 November 2017 -- WHO, 3ie and PMNCH have launched an evidence map and online tool to make available existing research on the effectiveness of social, behavioural and community engagement interventions for improving women’s and children’s health. It shows though there is a considerable body of evidence from which we can draw upon for lessons learned, there are still significant gaps in the evidence base.

OXFAM East Africa/J Ferguson
A young girl seated.

Responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused

20 October 2017 – The sexual abuse of children and adolescents is a gross violation of their human rights and a global public health problem. Millions of children and adolescents are subjected to sexual abuse with devastating consequences for their health and well-being which often last into adulthood. Adolescents and children who have been sexually abused have specific needs, different from adults. In recognition of this, WHO has published evidence-based recommendations which specifically help health workers to provide quality clinical care to children and adolescents who have survived sexual abuse.

A midwife assists a mother to breastfeed her infant.

7 000 newborns die every day, despite steady decrease in under-five mortality, new report says

19 October 2017– Every day in 2016, 15 000 children died before their fifth birthday, 46% of them – or 7000 babies – died in the first 28 days of life. Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2017, reveals that although the number of children dying before the age of five is at a new low – 5.6 million in 2016, compared with nearly 9.9 million in 2000 – the proportion of under-five deaths in the newborn period has increased from 41% to 46% during the same period.

A mother feeds her infant - Nepal.

WHO releases guidelines to address overweight and obesity in children

4 October 2017 – As part of its response to the global epidemic of obesity, WHO is today releasing guidelines to support primary healthcare workers identify and help children who are overweight or obese. In 2016 an estimated 41 million children under 5 were affected by overweight or obesity. Without effective treatment they are very likely to remain overweight and obese throughout their lives, putting them at risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and premature death, as well as suffering physical and psychological consequences in childhood.

2013 Valerie Caldas, Photoshare
A mother and her infant.

New programme reporting standards for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health programmes

14 September 2017 – Reporting on health programmes often covers what was done and not how it was done and in what context. This information is key to understanding impact and can facilitate successful replication and scale-up. To address this, WHO is launching new standards for reporting on sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health programmes at this year’s Global Evidence Summit in Cape Town, South Africa.

WHO/WPRO/Y Shimizu
A woman and infant look into eachother's faces.

Nurturing care for early childhood development: a framework for action and results

10 September 2017 -- WHO, in collaboration with UNICEF, and supported by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, Child & Adolescent Health and the ECD Action Network is guiding a process to scale up action and results for early childhood development in collaboration with countries all other relevant stakeholders. This process will produce a nurturing care common framework which will guide policy, programme, and budget support at country level.


A midwife with a mother and newborn.

Quality of care means safe, effective, timely, efficient, equitable and people-centred health care.

A midwife examines a pregnant woman.

Our aim is to generate high quality epidemiological information and monitoring and evaluation data to strengthen the uptake and implementation of maternal newborn child and adolescent health guidelines, policies and programmes.



Contact us

Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (MCA)
World Health Organization
20 Avenue Appia
1211 Geneva 27

Tel.: +41 22 791 3281
Fax: +41 22 791 4853