Health of Mothers and Children

Scaling up reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health services beyond the traditional set of mother and child issues. Emphasis will be put on improving access for difficult-to-reach people to high-quality, certified and supervised services supported by training and controls. WHO intends to use a gender-awareness approach for accelerating the achievement of MDGs 4 and 5, by synchronizing with the government in its effort to pay preferential attention in India to: (i) adolescent health, linked to nutrition¸ the cultural aspects of early marriage and inter-generational issues; (ii) home based care of the newborn and postnatal care (related to breastfeeding); and (iii) management of low birth weight related to the capacity of nurses and midwives.

Care of the pregnant woman, the mother and the newborn in primary health care facilities and hospitals will be subject to well-designed protocols focusing on equity and quality. For example, the number of deliveries under the supervision of skilled birth attendants will be substantially increased. Child and adolescent nutrition and related health issues will be addressed by the government by means of both upstream measures (e.g. government subsidies and school activities) and downstream activities (i.e. regular medical and nursing supervision) and subject to specific follow-up throughout the country. WHO will support the mandates and activities of the government and other developmental partners (civil society and private sector players) paying attention to avoid duplication of effort and maximize returns.

Better information systems, tracking resources and oversight will be promoted in accordance with the ten precise recommendations of the “Accountability Commission on Mother and Child” chaired by the Tanzanian President, the Canadian Prime Minister and WHO’s Director-General, and of which India’s Honourable Minister of Health and Family Welfare is a member. Significant steps will be taken in particular to support (i) integrated use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve the registration of births, deaths and causes of death combining data from facilities, administrative sources and surveys, and (ii) disaggregate the indicators on reproductive, maternal and child health, for gender and other equity considerations for the purpose of monitoring progress. WHO will also provide technical and policy support to the government aimed at reducing the gap between states in terms of health outcomes, with a specific aim of contributing to the reduction of selective gender abortion, increasing girls’ attendance at school, raising female literacy rates and improving the gender equality, a critical social determinant of health.