Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Newborn health

Public consultation on ending preventable newborn deaths

WHO conducted a consultation on the draft "Every Newborn: an action plan to end preventable deaths", receiving comments from the public in January and February. These are open to public view as well as the revised draft action plan itself. In addition, a document outlining the response to the comments received is available, as well as the list of organizations that commented. The final draft of the action plan will be presented to Member States at the Sixty-seventh World Health Assembly in May 2014. The action plan is a roadmap for change. It sets out a vision and proposes a goal and targets to end newborn deaths from preventable causes. Five guiding principles and five strategic objectives are at the core of the plan.

New guidance for treating children with severe acute malnutrition

27 November 2013 -- WHO has issued new treatment guidelines for the almost 20 million children under-five worldwide who have severe acute malnutrition. Severe acute malnutrition is when children suffer severe wasting that may or may not be accompanied by swelling of the body from fluid retention. Children with severe acute malnutrition are among the most vulnerable people in the world.

Informal meeting on provision of home-based care to mother and child in the first week after birth

In 2009, WHO and UNICEF issued a Joint Statement recommending home visits for care of the newborn infant in the first week of life. Three years later, 30 out of the 58 countries of Africa and Asia have a policy on postnatal home visits. The meeting report documents the implementation of these home visitation programmes and the context of postnatal care in which home visits occur. Over 60 participants from countries in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa identified ways for increasing coverage of this effective intervention that will guide policy makers and managers of maternal and child health programmes.

Protecting unborn babies from alcohol-related harm

Alcohol and drug abuse during pregnancy can harm babies. It can also cause miscarriage, preterm birth, and stillbirth. If an unborn baby is exposed to alcohol it can be affected for life. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) is the umbrella term for impairments of the growth and development of the brain and the central nervous system caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Aboriginal women in Australia have shown how communities can take action to protect their women and babies from alcohol-related harm in pregnancy.