Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Caesarean sections should only be performed when medically necessary

Uganda: a young woman suffers from pain during labour.

16 April 2015 -- Caesarean section is one of the most common surgeries in the world, with rates continuing to rise, particularly in high- and middle-income countries. Although it can save lives, caesarean section is often performed without medical need, putting women and their babies at-risk of short- and long-term health problems. A new statement from WHO underscores the importance of focusing on the needs of the patient, on a case by case basis, and discourages the practice of aiming for “target rates”.

Does the world have enough midwives?

A health worker checking a pregnant woman during a home visit.
WHO/SEARO/N. Garnage

6 March 2015 -- “Does the world have enough midwives?” was the focus of an event coordinated by WHO and UNFPA with country partners. Highlighting the "State of the world’s midwifery report 2014", heads of both organizations and ambassadors from France, Morocco, Nepal, Senegal, Sweden, Zambia, and Zimbabwe spoke with passion about the urgent need to improve maternal and newborn health through investing in more midwives who are educated, trained and supported to international standards.

Updating of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health

28 February 2015 -- Stakeholders from the across the globe have gathered to kickstart the process to update the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, which will be launched together with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September of this year. The renewed Strategy aims to be a roadmap for action and accountability by all partners, including governments, the UN, civil society, private business, health professional organizations, academia and donor organizations.

Report from 136 session of the WHO Executive Board

Dr Chan  at WHO WHA
WHO/Christopher Black

26 January – 4 February 2015 | Geneva -- The WHO Executive Board started with a Special Session on Ebola which set the tone for the critical examination of WHO’s work within a perspective of greater transparency. For the first time ever, the Executive board was webcast worldwide and live from Geneva. Thousands took the opportunity to watch and listen to the discussions, which went late into the evening and weekends. Several Reports touched on adolescent health, child nutrition, inter-personal violence and women’s health to achievement of the Millennium Development Goals


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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