Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

New WHO Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health to be created

July 2010

Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, announced in July 2010 that the Departments of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (CAH) and Making Pregnancy Safer (MPS) will merge to form a new Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health, with the acronym MCH.

The merger represents a consolidation of efforts and a confirmation of WHO's commitment to investing in Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5. The new Department will ensure the application of the continuum of care from pregnancy through to adolescence.

Dr Elizabeth Mason, current Director of CAH and Director ad interim of MPS, who will be Director of the new MCH Department said "I am very pleased to have the opportunity to help shape the directions of WHO's work in this critical area."

A process to facilitate the merger has been laid out, which involves CAH and MPS staff, as well as discussions with colleagues in the Department of Reproductive Health and Research, to ensure the necessary synergy and harmonization of work towards MDG5. Member States will also be consulted regarding their views on how the MCH Department can best address their needs.

During the merger process, CAH and MPS's ongoing technical work will continue uninterrupted, and commitments of the two Departments will be respected as far as resources allow.