Essential interventions, commodities and guidelines for reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health
A guidance document
The underlying thrust of "Essential Interventions" is to support low- and middle- income countries to meet the Millennium Development Goals 4 & 5. It gives policy makers a way to make informed choices on how to set priorities and where to put their funds and resources, guided by a list of absolutely critical interventions.
“These are not instructions,” says Dr. Mason. “This is a guidance document. The list also gives PMNCH partners, depending on their focus, a way to support country efforts.”
The interventions are classified according to three levels:
- care that can be provided at the community level by community health workers, outreach workers, and volunteers with limited training;
- primary care, also delivered in the community at a clinic by professionals – nurses, midwives, community health workers—with more training;
- referral care provided by physicians and skilled nurses and midwives in a hospital able to do Caesarean sections and provide emergency care.
The interventions are also classified according to six target groups:
- adolescent and pre-pregnancy
- pregnancy (before birth)
- postnatal (mother)
- postnatal (newborn)
- infancy and childhood.
In addition to identifying the interventions, the document provides clear guidance on what is needed in terms of training and equipment. For example, if newborns are not breathing, resuscitation equipment is needed.
“I’m sure that this research will help to reduce deaths among mothers, newborns and children and will help direct funds and resources to concerted action based on the best evidence for impact,” says Dr. Bhutta.
PMNCH, which has 440 partners, including countries, UN and multilateral agencies, non-governmental organizations, health groups, foundations, academic and research institutions, and the private sector, will distribute this essential list through its global network and actively advocate for its use. A condensed version on a simple, hand-held slide ruler for instant reference is currently under development.