Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

District planning for maternal and newborn health programme implementation

29 November - 3 December 2010

The WHO Regional Office for Africa and partners have developed a "Roadmap for accelerating the attainment of the MDGs related to maternal and newborn health" as an optimal approach to reducing mortality. To date, more than 80% of countries in the region have a national roadmap and are at different levels of its implementation.

While the implementation of the roadmap is advancing, some countries have raised concerns about the speed of progress and weak translation of the proposed strategies, objectives and targets into concrete actions at all levels.

The roadmap recommends that national ministries of health develop national policies and coordinate the provision of maternal and newborn health services, and districts make planning decisions and implement activities. As a result, districts now have more responsibility for setting priorities and managing budgets, and are accountable to their local populations for the quality of services they provide.

In this context, five French-speaking countries in the region (Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger and Togo) have expressed interest in engaging in operational planning and costing of maternal and newborn health interventions at district level, in the framework of the EC/ACP/WHO partnership on the health MDGs. Twenty participants will attend the inter-country workshop on district planning for maternal and newborn health programme implementation taking place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 29 November to 3 December.