Child and adolescent health and development


South-East Asia Regional Strategic Framework for Improving Neonatal & Child Health and Development


Publication details

Publication date: 2012


Despite a significant improvement in child mortality, the South-East Asia (SEA) Region is unlikely to achieve the Millenium Development Goal (MDG) 4 target and needs significant improvement in maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) programmes in Member States. The broad objective of the WHO-UNICEF joint SEA Regional Strategic Framework for Improving Neonatal & Child Health and Development is to guide and assist Member States to develop or strengthen their national strategies and plans to improve newborn and child survival, reduce the burden of child morbidity and disability and promote child health and development.

The Strategic Framework presents a brief Regional situational analysis that has been used to form the basis for appropriate strategies for child and neonatal health. A brief analysis of the broader determinants beyond the health system such as safeon, gender, drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene, education, gender, is also included, as well as an analysis of coverage levels of existing interventions that helps identify gaps and missed opportunities for strenthening health systems.

The Framework is based upon principles of child rights and equity. It highlights the need to think about the whole child, not just their health. The Framework uses the principle of continuum of care across the life-course, from pre-conception through pregnancy, childbirth, the postnatal period, childhood and adolescence. Such a holistic approach is important since maternal, neonatal and child health are closely linked with each other, not only intrinsically, but also programmatically. It emphasizes that the services must be organized through a process that preserves functional continuity across different levels of health-care delivery from home/community to first-level health centres and referral hospitals.

This Framework is intended to be the basis for subsequent joint WHO-UNICEF country support for Member States in the WHO SEA Region for newborn and child health and development.