19 January 2016 -- Worldwide in 2015, for every 1000 total births, 18.4 babies were stillborn, mostly in low- and middle-income countries. Progress in reducing this rate has been slow and at present speed, 160 years will pass before a pregnant woman in Africa has the same chance of her baby being born alive as a woman in a high-income country today. Even in high-income countries rates vary from 1.3 to 8 per 1000 births, a variation that shows further improvements are possible. A Lancet Series of five papers offers a roadmap for eliminating stillbirths by 2030, one the most neglected tragedies in global health today.
17 November 2015 ¦ World Prematurity Day is a day on which countries around the world seek to raise awareness of the devastating consequences of preterm birth. Every year, around 15 million babies are born preterm, that is to say that they are born before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. Complications of preterm births are the leading cause of death amongst children under five years of age. Without appropriate treatment, those who survive often face lifelong disabilities, including learning, visual and hearing problems and their quality of life is greatly affected. In an effort to improve preterm birth outcomes, WHO has published new recommendations for managing preterm births that are designed to save lives and improve the health of preterm infants. Many of these recommendations are simple, proven and cost-effective measures.
12 November 2015: According to new figures released by United Nations agencies and the World Bank Group today in the journal The Lancet, the world has seen a significant drop in maternal mortality over the last twenty-five years. The new report from WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP, and the World Bank Group highlights a drop in maternal mortality of almost 44% since 1990.
2 October 2015: Bacterial infections around the time of childbirth (peripartum infections) account for about one tenth of maternal deaths globally. WHO has launched a new guidance to help health professionals and policy makers reduce the global burden of maternal infections and their complications around the time of childbirth.
WHO and its partners around the world issued a statement on the prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during facility-based delivery. Every woman has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including the right to dignified, respectful care during pregnancy and childbirth. However, across the world many women experience disrespectful, abusive, or neglectful treatment during childbirth in facilities. These practices can violate women’s rights, deter women from seeking and using maternal health care services and can have implications for their health and well-being.
Strategies toward ending preventable maternal mortality (EPMM)
27 February 2015 – Maternal health, wellbeing and survival must remain a central goal and an investment priority in the post-2015 framework for sustainable development to ensure that progress continues and accelerates, with a focus on reducing inequities and discrimination. Attention to maternal mortality and morbidity must be accompanied by improvements along the continuum of care for women and children, including commitments to sexual and reproductive health and newborn and child survival.
Tetanus Toxoid vaccine
WHO is concerned that misinformation circulating in the media about the Tetanus Toxoid vaccine could have a seriously negative impact on the health of women and children. The Organization confirms that the Tetanus Toxoid (TT) vaccine is safe. The vaccine has been used in 52 countries, to immunize 130 million women to protect them and their newborn babies from tetanus. There is no HCG hormone in tetanus toxoid vaccines.
A new World Health Organization study reveals that only half of women who gave birth preterm in hospitals have received steroid injections which prevent death and disability among vulnerable, preterm newborns. The study is the largest to look at the use of these life-saving drugs internationally. These drugs have existed for decades, don’t require refrigeration, and cost less than US$ 1 an injection.
Preventing postpartum haemorrhage
WHO, Merck and Ferring Pharmaceuticals announce a partnership to evaluate a new, proprietary, room-temperature stable formulation of carbetocin—a drug for preventing postpartum haemorrhage after childbirth.This trial is a new step for WHO. If the trial is successful, it could mean the difference between life and death for thousands of women.