Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Launch of the Network to improve Quality of Care for Mothers, Newborns and Children

When: 14–16 February 2017
Where: Lilongwe, Malawi

The Ministry of Health of Malawi has kindly agreed to host the launch of the Network to improve Quality of Care for Mothers, Newborns and Children.

WHO estimates that 5.6 million women and babies died in 2015 due to complications in pregnancy, childbirth and in the first month of life including 303 000 maternal deaths, 2.7 million newborn deaths and 2.6 million stillbirths. Most of these deaths occur on the day of birth, mostly of preventable causes. Research shows that up to 3 million lives of women and babies would be saved each year with high quality coverage of care around the time of birth and care of small and sick newborns at an additional running cost of only US$ 1.15 per person in 75 high burden countries.

Broadening the focus from access to care to include quality of care

In response to this situation, WHO and UNICEF are launching a Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health to cut preventable maternal and newborn illness and deaths, and to improve every mother’s experience of care.

The Network sets out to achieve a vision where every pregnant woman and newborn infant receives good quality care throughout pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period. It will look at quality of care both in the way it is delivered by health workers, and experienced by patients. The Network is underpinned by the values of quality, equity and dignity and supports the targets of Every Woman Every Child’s (EWEC) Global Strategy.

Conference objectives

  • Launch the network and commit to the common goal of improving quality of care for mothers and newborns;
  • Share best practices on quality of care improvement and agree on an evidence-based framework for coordinated actions;
  • Agree on country roadmaps for improving quality of care, and articulate the network’s potential to realise its target.

Expected outcomes of the conference

  • Common understanding of the goal of quality of care for mothers and newborns and mechanisms needed to develop and sustain gains;
  • Establishment of the network and articulation of joint actions for all members;
  • Commitment of first wave countries to network’s quality of care agenda and articulation of next steps in each country.


  • Country representatives from the first wave countries: Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda.
    • Minister of Health or other high level officials
    • Professional associations, civil society, academia.
    • Technical and funding partners
  • Global and regional technical partners committed to the network
  • Global and regional funding partners
  • Partnerships and related initiatives
  • UN Organizations
  • Renowned individuals (champions) of quality for mothers and newborn.