World Birth Defects Day, 3 March 2017
Prevent and control birth defects
Birth defects affect approximately one in 33 infants and result in around 3.2 million birth defect-related disabilities across the world annually. In the South-East Asia Region, each year birth defects are responsible for an estimated 90 000 newborn deaths.
When not fatal, birth defects can result in long-term disability, impacting individuals, families, health systems and societies. The most common birth defects are heart defects, neural tube defects, and Down’s syndrome, with 94% of severe cases occurring in middle- and low-resource settings.
Improving the Quality of Care for Mothers and Newborns in Health Facilities
WHO-SEARO in partnership with WHOCC AIIMS, UNICEF, UNFPA and USAID has prepared a training package for building capacity of healthcare teams in health facilities for continous quality improvement of maternal and newborn healthcare. The focus is on the care of mothers and newborns at the time of child birth since a large proportion of maternal deaths, newborn deaths and stillbirths happen around that time. The 4-Step POCQI (Point of care Quality Improvement) package includes Coaching manual and Learner manual that present a demystified and simple model of quality improvement at the level of health facilities using local data to identify quality gaps, analyse underlying causes and improve health care practices in their own specific context without much additional resources. The learning methods include short presentations, group work, activities, games and video clips. The POCQI package will be used to build capacity of healthcare teams in the countries of the Region and beyond.
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.
Child and adolescent health topical information
- Prevention and control of birth defects
- Assessment of Microcephaly in context of Zika Virus
- Meeting of SEAR Technical Advisory Group (SEAR-TAG) 2015
- WHO calls for stronger focus on adolescent health
- Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses
- Early Childhood Development
- Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health
South-East Asia Regional Network
Data and statistics
Child and Adolescent Health Unit
Department of Family Health Gender and Life Course (FGL)
World Health Organization - SEARO
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