Child and adolescent health and development

Strengthening Newborn Health and Prevention of Birth Defects

Despite a significant reduction in under-five and infant mortality, newborn mortality remains high in the WHO South-East Asia Region. The WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia has harnessed the leadership on newborn health by establishing the Regional Network on Newborn Health.

WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia has recently developed the Regional Strategy for Prevention and Control of Birth Defects in collaboration with Member States. Learning from the experience of newborn network suggests that it would be useful to establish a regional network to supports implementation of birth defects surveillance and prevention activities in the countries.

The regional network meeting on strengthening newborn health and prevention of birth defects was organized in April 2013 to address newborn health and birth defects in a convergent manner to reduce newborn mortality in the Region.

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

The WHO-UNICEF joint South-East Asia Regional Strategic Framework aims to assist Member States to develop or strengthen their national strategies and plans to improve newborn and child health and development.

The Framework encourages Member States to incorporate a rights-based and equitable perspective into policies and actions within and beyond health systems, and emphasizes that multisectoral actions are essential for achieveing the desired outcomes for newborn-child health and development.

Prevention and control of birth defects

With the decrease in infant/child mortality rates, birth defects as a proportional cause of mortality would become significant in the countries. The World Health Assembly adopted Resolution WHA 63.17 that recommended to take actions to address birth defects. In response, the WHO Regional Office has initiated significant activities towards developing Regional strategy for prevention and control of birth defects.

Strategic directions for improving adolescent health in South-East Asia Region

The 'Strategic Directions' has been developed in consultation with Member States, Partners and experts from the Region to provide guidance and support to policy- and decision-makers in the countries of the Region to further scale-up their national adolescent health programmes.