Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Babies and mothers worldwide failed by lack of investment in breastfeeding

african mother and daughter breastfeeding

1 August 2017 – No country in the world fully meets recommended standards for breastfeeding, according to a new report by UNICEF and WHO in collaboration with the Global Breastfeeding Collective, a new initiative to increase global breastfeeding rates. Only 40% of children younger than six months are breastfed exclusively (given nothing but breastmilk) and only 23 countries have exclusive breastfeeding rates above 60%.

Partners launch report that measures progress towards ambitious targets set to improve health of women, children and adolescents

18 July 2017 – The first Progress Report on the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health was launched at the High-Level Political Forum in New York on 18 July. It is a critical tool for accountability and advocacy and provides a snapshot of achievements by countries and partners, highlighting the power of partnership to accelerate progress in a complex and evolving development landscape.

1 in 10 infants worldwide did not receive any vaccinations in 2016

A child being vaccinated.

17 July 2017 - Worldwide, 12.9 million infants, nearly 1 in 10, did not receive any vaccinations in 2016, according to new estimates from WHO and UNICEF. These infants missed the first dose of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP)-containing vaccine, putting them at serious risk. Additionally, an estimated 6.6 million infants who did receive their first dose of DTP-containing vaccine did not complete the full, three dose DTP immunization series (DTP3) in 2016.

Lack of family planning casts a shadow over the future for millions of women and girls on the move

11 July 2017 – Today, policymakers, donors, and advocates from around the world will gather at the Family Planning Summit in London to discuss efforts to reach global family planning goals. By investing in family planning we also invest in realizing human rights, upholding dignity, and sowing the seeds of truly sustainable development, especially for women and girls on the move.

Reaching the every newborn national 2020 milestones: country progress, plans and moving forward

A mother smiles with her newborn.
Save the Children

June 2017 - This WHO and UNICEF report details the country leadership and actions that are taking forward the goals and recommendations set out in the Every Newborn Action Plan – an initiative contributing towards the goals of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health for Every Woman Every Child. In 2016, 51 countries completed the Every Newborn Tracking Tool, which tracks progress. This report presents the findings of the progress tracking tool, spotlights activities in a range of countries and exemplifies some of the partner efforts to support country progress.

WHO toolkit for the care and support of people affected by complications associated with Zika virus


June 2017 – The WHO Toolkit for the care and support of people affected by complications associated with Zika virus has been developed to serve as a model guide, with the goal of enhancing country preparedness for Zika virus outbreaks. The toolkit is intended to provide a systems approach involving public health planners and managers so that the necessary infrastructure and resources can be identified and incorporated as needed, as well as technical and practical guidance for health care professionals and community workers.

International Confederation of Midwives Triennial Congress 2017

A midwife helps a mother breastfeed her newborn.
WHO/K. Reidy

19 June 2017 -- WHO has a significant presence at the 31st ICM Congress where over 4000 midwives, policy makers, donors, civil society and government representatives from 116 midwifery associations, representing 102 countries across every continent are gathering in Toronto. The theme for this year is “Midwives - Making a difference in the world” with daily themes of: leadership, partnerships, professionalism and supporting women’s and girls’ rights.

WHO and partners recommend actions to improve adolescent health

Two mekong youth enjoy time together.

16 May 2017 -- More than 3000 adolescents die every day from largely preventable causes, according to a new report from WHO and partners. Global accelerated action for the health of adolescents (AA-HA!): Guidance to support country implementation – assists governments in what to do – as well as how to do it – as they respond to the health needs of adolescents in their countries. Case studies show that what is being recommended actually can be done. The full document with case studies, a summary document, a comic book, brochure and infographics are available below.

World Immunization Week 24-30 April

The Indigenous Health Teams members check vaccine packaging, Brazil.
WHO/A. Zambrana

The journey of vaccines in Brazil. Thanks to a highly effective National Immunization Programme, most Brazilian parents can feel confident that their children will get the lifesaving vaccines they need – when they need them. Routine vaccination coverage in the country averages above 95% for most vaccines on the child immunization schedule every year – exceeding WHO’s recommendation of at least 90% coverage.

Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health topical information

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Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (MCA)
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