Facts about Continuum of Care
The concept of a "continuum of care" has emerged as a new paradigm to address maternal, newborn and child mortality and is crucial to battling maternal, newborn, and child mortality.2,4
The first dimension of this continuum is time - from pre-pregnancy, through pregnancy, childbirth, and the early days and years of life (Fig. 1).
The second dimension of this continuum is place- linking the various levels of home, community, and health facilities (Fig 2).
Specific interventions, delivered at specific time frames, have multiple benefits.
Linking interventions in packages can reduce costs by allowing greater efficiency.
Integration of services increases uptake. For instance, counseling for breastfeeding in the immediate postpartum period provides an opportunity for promoting postpartum/postnatal and newborn care.
It is estimated that an additional US $ 9 billion per year over the next ten years is needed to reach all children and three quarters of all mothers and babies in the 75 worst affected countries with the priority and full range of interventions effective during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum3
Providing basic maternal care costs about $3 per person per year in low-income countries.1
A package of 20 affordable interventions including skilled care at birth, emergency obstetric care, breastfeeding, vaccinations, antibiotics, vitamins could save 6 million children per year at a cost of only $25 per child or $1.62 per person in 60 priority countries.5
Figure 1. Connecting Care Giving Across the Continuum for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
Figure 2. Connecting Care Giving Between Households and Health Facilities to Reduce Maternal, Newborn, and Child Deaths
1The Inter-Agency Group for Safe Motherhood.
2Lawn JE, Cousens S, Zupan J. 4 million neonatal deaths: When? Where? Why? Lancet 2005; 365: 891-900.
3WHO. The World Health Report 2005 - Make Every Mother and Child Count. Geneva: WHO, 2005.
4Martines J, Paul VK, Bhutta ZA et al. Neonatal survival: a call for action. Lancet 2005; 365: 1189-97.
5Lawn, J. "for the Price Tag for Newborn and Child Survival." Presentation at Child Survival Countdown to 2015, December 2005.