Child and adolescent health and development

Birth defects surveillance in South-East Asia

The South-East Asia strategic framework on prevention and control of birth defects (2013─2017) underlines the importance of developing birth defects surveillance mechanisms to determine the burden and evaluate the preventive programmes as these get implemented in countries. The regional workshop on birth defects surveillance was organized by WHO-SEARO to build capacity of Member States in birth defects surveillance. The birth defect surveillance package developed by WHO, CDC and ICBDSR was used in the workshop. Participants reviewed the principles of surveillance and practised specific skills on birth defects surveillance.

WHO calls for stronger focus on adolescent health

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Health for the world’s adolescents report has been launched on 14 May 2014. Drawing on a wealth of published evidence and consultations with 10 to 19-year-olds around the world, the report brings together, for the first time, all WHO guidance on the full spectrum of health issues affecting adolescents.
Maternal mortality ranks second among causes of death in 15 to 19-year-old girls in the South-East Asia Region. Early marriage and adolescent pregnancy are a public health problem in some of the countries in the Region.

Situation of Newborn and Child Health in South-East Asia

Progress towards MDG 4
The Situational Analysis is a compilation of factsheets on newborn and child health for the Member States in the South-East Asia Region of WHO. It has been prepared by undertaking an in-depth review of the most recent national household surveys like Demographic and Health Surveys and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, other national reports, and international data wherever available. The information covers the demographic indicators, mortality, nutrition status, and coverage of the core interventions for newborn and child health, as well as water and sanitation situation.

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.

Dr Neena Raina
Regional Adviser, Child and Adolescent Health
World Health Organization - SEARO
IP Estate, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, New Delhi, 110 002 India
Tel : +91 11 2337 0804 Ext: 26315 Fax : +91 11 2337 8510
Email : secah@who.int