Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

International Women’s Day - 8 March

A group of young African women
UNICEF/Pirozzi

8 March 2017 – On International Women’s Day, WHO reaffirms its commitment to gender equality and women’s and girls’ fundamental rights, particularly to ensuring that women across the globe are able to make decisions about their bodies and their environment. When women are able to decide about their health and the things that influence it, including their sexual and reproductive health and environment, they control their futures and their lives and fulfil their limitless potential.

Environmental pollution kills 1.7 million children each year

Children playing on the beach at low tide in Hangan Village, Buka, Papua New Guinea
WHO/Y. Shimizu

6 March 2017 – Environmental risks cause more than 1 in 4 deaths in children aged under 5 years every year, according to 2 new reports from WHO. Children are especially vulnerable to pollution due to their developing organs and immune systems, and smaller bodies and airways. The most common causes of death – diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia – are preventable with safe water and clean cooking fuels.

A Network to halve maternal and newborn deaths in facilities in 5 years

Elizabeth Wezena with babies in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit of the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital in the Upper East region of Ghana.
UNICEF

February 2017 - Many women, their babies and children still die, or suffer from life-long disabilities, even after reaching a health facility, due to poor care practices. Improving the quality of care provided is of utmost urgency. With a target of halving maternal and newborn deaths in facilities in 5 years, national governments from 9 first wave countries and partners are joining forces to establish a Network to improve the quality of care provided to mothers, newborns and children. The Network will support countries to achieve their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and achieve the vision set out by the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health.

Managing possible serious bacterial infection in young infants when referral is not feasible

A mother and her newborn child.
S Qazi

13 February 2017 -- Infections are responsible for about one fifth of the world’s annual 2.7 million neonatal deaths. In South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa about one quarter of all neonatal deaths are due to infections, Hospitalization and life-saving treatment for the sick infant may not be accessible, acceptable or affordable to families in settings with high newborn mortality. A new WHO/UNICEF Statement in support of 2015 WHO guidelines provides options for the use of simplified antibiotic regimens that are both safe and effective for outpatient treatment of clinical severe infection and fast-breathing pneumonia among young infants weighing at least 1.5 kg.

MCA Year in Review 2016

A mother, infant, child and adolescents.
UNICEF

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.
WHO

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.




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

Tel.: +41 22 791 3281
Fax: +41 22 791 4853
E-mail: mncah@who.int