SEA/RC69/11: Ending preventable maternal and child mortality
AbstractThere has been a significant decline in child mortality in the South-East Asia Region over the past few decades, from 118/1000 live births in 1990 to 43/1000 live births in 2015, or a decline of about 64% while the regional maternal mortality ratio (MMR) declined from 525 to 164 per 100 000 live births, a reduction of about 69%. Over the same period, neonatal mortality has declined less rapidly from 53/1000 live births to 24/1000 live births. These declines in mortality, however, narrowly miss the MDG targets of 75% (three fourths) reduction in maternal mortality (MDG5) and 67% (two third) reduction in child mortality (MDG4). In addition there are significant disparities in the achievements made in the Region in terms of social parameters such as poverty, education status and the status of women. The main barriers to progress have been constraints related to health financing, health workforce (midwives and skilled birth attendants, in particular) and to essential supplies and equipment. With the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016–2030), new targets have been set for all countries. This provides renewed impetus to the efforts to end preventable mortality among women, newborns and children through a broad-based multisectoral approach as well as to address areas such as adolescent health and early child development that received less attention during the MDG phase. In April 2014, the WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia launched a Flagship Initiative on ending preventable maternal, newborn and child mortality with the focus on neonatal mortality. In support of this, the Regional Director convened a Regional Summit of H6 Leadership (WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNAIDS, UN WOMEN and World Bank) in December 2015 that issued a joint statement for ending preventable mortality among newborns, children and mothers. This regional interagency platform will be effective for providing advocacy and technical assistance, promoting multisectoral action, and coordinating partner-donor support to Member States for the implementation of the Global Strategy.The attached Working Paper was presented to the High-Level Preparatory Meeting for its review and recommendations. The recommendations made by the HLP Meeting for consideration of the Sixty-ninth Session of the Regional Committee are: Actions by Member States (1) Update, based on the achievements and identified gaps in the progress, strategies and plans for RMNCAH, the framework for operationalizing the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, and pay special attention to the principles of equity and the overriding SDG aim of “leaving no one behind”. (2) Continue to assume national leadership for effective planning, implementation and monitoring and reporting the progress in line with the monitoring framework of the Global Strategy and SDGs. (3) Focus on strategies to address major causes of mortality among mothers and newborns by strengthening midwifery skills, providing adequate financing, and expanding coverage with life-saving interventions with good quality of care. Actions by WHO (1) Continue to provide technical guidance and support to Member States for operationalizing the Global Strategy based on regional- and country-level contexts and specificities. (2) Provide support to strengthen planning and implementation capacity in Member States for improving the health of women, children and adolescents and support innovative approaches for reaching the unreached and unserved or underserved populations. (3) Assist in preparing a draft Resolution focusing on ending maternal, newborn and child mortality for consideration of the Sixty-ninth Session of the Regional Committee. This Working Paper and the HLP Meeting recommendations are submitted to the Sixty-ninth Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia for its consideration and decision.
Regional Office for South-East Asia, World Health Organization. (2016). SEA/RC69/11: Ending preventable maternal and child mortality. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/246271