Child and adolescent health and development

Strengthening Country Capacity on Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response

Report of a South-East Asia Regional Meeting
16–18 February 2016, Maldives

Despite significant reduction (of more than 60%) in maternal and child mortality, our Region missed achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5.

In response, a Regional flagship priority has been established for ending preventable maternal and neonatal mortality. To advance the flagship, the Regional Meeting to Strengthen Capacity on Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) was held in Maldives on 16–18 February 2016 to fortify the South-East Asia regional capacity and support country-level actions for maternal and perinatal death surveillance and response (MPDSR) to end preventable maternal and perinatal deaths.

The MPDSR meeting provided an opportunity for all SEAR countries to develop a 5-year term plan, a 3-year term plan and a plan for 2016 for implementing and expanding MPDSR in each country. The key message in expanding MPDSR was: “Think big, start small and grow slowly”. 

Improving Quality of Hospital Care for Maternal and Newborn Health

Report of the Regional Workshop, New Delhi, 10 to 13 May 2016
The Regional Workshop for Improving Quality of Hospital Care for Maternal and Newborn Health was organized to introduce the concept of hospital improvement process and build capacity of hospital teams focusing on care of mothers and new-borns at childbirth and early newborn care. Hospital teams consisting of health-care professionals (obstetrics, paediatricians, neonatologists and midwives) and a hospital manager from Member States were trained so that they could become advocates and role models for hospital improvement processes and facilitate subsequent initiatives in the countries. This is in line with the Regional Framework for Improving Quality of Care for RMNCAH that has been published by WHO-SEARO in collaboration with Member States and partners for providing support to countries to establish/strengthen and implement QI mechanisms.
For introducing the model of hospital/health facilities improvement and to build capacity of national hospital teams, a package prepared by WHO-SEARO, WHOCC and USAID-ASSIST was used. In addition to the hospital teams, participants included a QI focal point in ministries of health who are responsible for quality of care, and representatives of professional associations and development partners. The report presents the proceedings and recommendations from the regional meeting.

Remarkable progress, new horizons and renewed commitment

Ending preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths in South-East Asia Region
Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia Region, released the publication “Remarkable, progress, new horizons and renewed commitment - ending preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths in the region” during the Sixty-ninth Session of the Regional Committee of the WHO South-East Asia Region. At the threshold of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) era, this document captures the remarkable achievements by Member States towards achieving MDGs 4 and 5. It acknowledges new opportunities in the post-2015 phase shaped by the SDGs and the Global Strategy for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and presents an advanced state of preparedness in the Region. This also highlights the region’s renewed commitment for a more inclusive and more dynamic flagship action for ending preventable maternal, newborn and child mortality as well as to improve women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and wellbeing in the South-East Asia Region.

Ending Preventable Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality

Under the Regional Flagship project on ending preventable maternal and child mortality with a focus on reducing newborn mortality, the WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia has appointed the Technical Advisory Group (SEAR-TAG) to provide guidance to national governments, implementing partners and other stakeholders on how best to accelerate implementation of strategies, and monitor these. The inaugural meeting of SEAR-TAG was organized on 15–18 December 2015 to evolve a shared understanding of priorities, challenges and high impact approaches for reducing newborn mortality.

SEAR-TAG members, RMNCAH nodal persons from the ministries of health from Member States, representatives of UN agencies and other partners, INGOS and NGOs, representatives of Professional associations and WHO Collaborating Centres participated in the meeting. There were deliberations to examine and identify ways to expand equitable coverage of evidence-based interventions for mothers and newborns; improving quality of care; and improve registration of births and deaths of mothers and newborns as well as stillbirths. The report provides the summary of proceedings of the SEAR-TAG meeting and the recommendations.

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