Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

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.

Counting and reviewing every birth and death is key to preventing future tragedies

A mother holds her baby.
WHO/Yoshi Shimizu

16 August 2016 -- Every day, women die during childbirth and babies are born stillborn. With quality health care throughout pregnancy and childbirth, many of these deaths could be prevented, but countries often lack the knowledge and capacity needed to take actions to stop other women and babies dying in the same way. To address this issue WHO is today launching two new tools to help countries improve their data on stillbirths and neonatal deaths as well as a report on the global status of implementation of maternal death surveillance and response (MDSR), a key strategy for reducing preventable maternal mortality.

Support mums to breastfeed anytime, anywhere

Cartoon showing a restaurant waiter offerign a drink to a breastfeeding woman.

The 1-5 August is World Breastfeeding Week. The theme this year is “Support mums to breastfeed anytime, anywhere,” as all of society has a role to play in making our communities more breastfeeding-friendly. One of the reasons for doing this is that, according to WHO Director-General Margaret Chan and Unicef Executive Director Anthony Lake, "Breastfeeding is one of the most effective, and cost-effective ways to save and improve the lives of children everywhere, yielding lifelong health benefits for infants and their mothers."


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

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