Scaling Essential Interventions Can Save 3 Million Lives Each Year
By scaling up essential interventions, around 3 million lives can be saved every year (see Fig. 1), approximately half in Africa. The greatest impact for the mother-baby dyad along the continuum of care is providing quality care during labor and childbirth, and care of the small and sick newborn. Yet, these interventions have the lowest coverage and highest equity gap.
Aligning collective action around the mother-baby dyad globally is needed to accelerate gains for women, newborns, families, and communities. Read more on our Blog: Embarking on a Decade of Action to Promote the Mother-Baby Dyad
Highlighted Resources Across the Continuum of Care
AlignMNH has curated an initial set of resources related to the mother-baby dyad and the phases shared by mothers and babies (pregnancy, childbirth, postnatal period). We will continuously update and add to these resources.
Trends in Maternal Mortality: 2000 – 2017, WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group and the United Nations Population Division, 2019
This report provides global, regional, and country-level estimates and trends for maternal mortality covering the period of 2000-2017. The report notes that the SDG goal to end preventable maternal deaths by 2030 will not be achievable given the current rate of reducing maternal deaths.
A Neglected Tragedy: The Global Burden of Stillbirths, UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation, 2020
This report highlights the slow progress in reducing stillbirth rates compared to other maternal and newborn health outcomes. The report calls out a need for better measurement and data of stillbirths as well as improved quality of care during pregnancy and birth.
Every Child Alive, The Urgent Need to End Newborn Death, UNICEF, 2018
This 2018 report from UNICEF outlines the global challenge of keeping every newborn alive, presents data on where newborns deaths are occuring, proposes an agenda for action that addresses both expanding access and improving quality of care, and offers a way forward that focuses on place (clean, functional health facilities), people (well trained health workers), products (life-saving drugs and equipment), and power (dignity, respect, and accountability).
This comprehensive WHO guideline (2016) provides global, evidence-informed recommendations on routine antenatal care. This guideline covers recommendations in various areas including nutrition, maternal and fetal assessment, preventative measures, interventions for common physiological symptoms and interventions to improve antenatal care utilization and quality of care. Additional resources on antenatal care can be found on the WHO website here.
This up-to-date, comprehensive and consolidated 2018 guideline on essential intrapartum care brings together new and existing WHO recommendations that, when delivered as a package, will ensure good-quality and evidence-based care irrespective of the setting or level of health care. The recommendations in this guideline are intended to inform the development of relevant national- and local-level health policies and clinical protocols.
WHO Labour Care Guide, WHO, 2020
This 2020 manual has been developed to help skilled health personnel to successfully use the WHO Labour Care Guide. The WHO Labour Care Guide is a tool that aims to support good-quality, evidence-based, respectful care during labour and childbirth, irrespective of the setting or level of health care.
An article published in August 2019 in BMJ Global Health describes an innovative, dynamic approach that is being used by WHO to respond to new, important evidence in the area of maternal and perinatal health. This new approach, called “living guidelines”, uses a combination of continuous literature surveillance, rapid updating of prioritized systematic reviews and virtual consultations with “living guideline” panels to update and develop new WHO recommendations. This can ensure that the latest evidence and updated recommendations can reach health workers worldwide as quickly as possible.
Issued by WHO in 2015, this document offer policy makers and program managers guidance for developing job aids and tools in pre or in-service training to strengthen delivery of MNH care related to preterm birth.
This framework for improving the quality of care for mothers and newborns around the time of childbirth, developed by WHO and released in 2016, encompasses both the provision and experience of care. It contains eight domains of quality of care that should be assessed, improved and monitored within the context of the health system building blocks.
Issued by WHO in 2020, these standards for the care of small and sick newborns in health facilities define, standardize and mainstream inpatient care of small and sick newborns, building on essential newborn care and ensuring consistency with the WHO quality of care framework. A resource for policy-makers, health care professionals, health service planners, program managers, regulators, professional bodies and technical partners.
MCSP Respectful Maternity Care Operational Guidance, Maternal Child Survival Program, 2020
The purpose of this operational guidance is to provide country stakeholders (including policy-makers, program managers and civil society members) with a flexible process to guide the design, implementation, and monitoring of efforts to strengthen RMC and eliminate mistreatment as part of comprehensive MNH programs.
The White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) has a suite of respectful maternity care resources including RMC guides, policy briefs, reports, and toolkits.
Gender and MNCH: A Review of the Evidence, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 2020
This report provides a landscape and evidence review of how gender influences maternal and newborn health behaviors in low-and middle-income countries. The report draws on existing literature, program reports and evaluations, case studies, and interviews to provide evidence on how gender inequality contributes to challenges for women and their newborns.
This 2020 evidence-to-action brief from WHO and HPR outlines the evidence that continuous support during labour improves childbirth outcomes, including enhancing the physiological process of labour. Research shows that such continuous support shortens labor, increases rates of spontaneous vaginal birth, decreases use of intrapartum analgesia and caesarean section, and increases women’s satisfaction with the childbirth experience. Women supported in this way report less fear and distress during labour, which acts as a buffer against adverse aspects of medical interventions.
Despite the availability of WHO global MDSR and PDSR guidelines and MPDSR policies in many countries, there are many challenges for translating MPDSR policy into implementation at country level. WHO is preparing to publish ‘MPDSR Operational Guidance’, including tools and resources, to support implementation of MPDSR processes in countries.
This document provides technical guidance on maternal death surveillance and response (MDSR) for healthcare professionals, planners, and managers. MDSR is essential in better understanding maternal death, and ultimately, contributing to the prevention of maternal deaths in the future.
This document provides guidance and tools to support the collection of data and information related to stillbirths and neonatal death. Similar to the MDSR approach, this guidance is intended to better understand neonatal deaths and stillbirths to lead the prevention of these deaths in the future, building on systems that are already in place.
This document presents a standardized system for classifying stillbirths and neonatal deaths. The system also aims to support countries in identifying linkages between neonatal deaths and stillbirths to conditions in pregnant women. The goal is to support the identification of interventions that could present future deaths.
This document provides guidance to support the collection, analysis, and interpretation of information related to maternal deaths. The document is aimed at supporting healthcare providers, since they are the ones who complete the death certificates, and thus, code the cause of death.