WHO has published Nine countries commit to halve maternal and newborn deaths in health facilities. Excerpt and then a comment:
Today, 9 countries – Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda – committed to halving preventable deaths of pregnant women and newborns in their health facilities within the next 5 years.
Through a new Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, supported by WHO, UNICEF and other partners, the countries will work to improve the quality of care mothers and babies receive in their health facilities.
This Network aims to strengthen national efforts to end preventable deaths by 2030, as envisioned by the Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health. Countries will do that for example, by strengthening capacity and motivation of health professional to plan and manage quality improvement, improving data collection and increasing access to medicines, supplies, equipment and clean water.
“Every mother and infant deserves to receive the highest quality of care when they access health facilities in their communities,” says Dr Anthony Costello, director, WHO Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health.
Through a global learning platform, the Quality of Care Network will build a community of health practitioners from the facility level and up to develop evidence-based, yet context-specific, strategies to improve quality of care, harvest implementation ideas, and collect information and experiences about what is working.
Ending preventable deaths
The period around childbirth is the most critical for saving mothers and newborns, and preventing stillbirths. Every year, worldwide, 303 000 women die during pregnancy and childbirth, 2.7 million babies die during the first 28 days of life and 2.6 million babies are stillborn. Most of these deaths could be prevented with quality care during pregnancy and childbirth.
However, the provision of care is uneven within and between countries, and often fails to respect the rights and dignity of those who seek it.
“Births in health facilities have increased in the past decade,” says Dr Costello. “Attention is now shifting from access to care to improving the quality of care so that countries can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals targets to end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths by 2030.”
Think about this goal: Assuming all countries, not just these nine, commit to these goals, in 2030 150,000 women will die in childbirth, 1.35 million babies will die during the first 28 days of life, and 1.3 babies will be stillborn. And that will halve the preventable death rates of 2017.