Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Highlighting the critical role of midwives

5 May 2015 -- Today we celebrate the work of midwives worldwide in ensuring the care and survival of newborn babies. The theme for this year's International Day of the Midwife is "Midwives: for a better tomorrow”. As the Millennium Development Goals come to an end in September, this theme highlights the importance of having midwives involved in the development of the new set of goals called the Sustainable Development Goals to create a brighter future for mothers, babies, and families.

Close the immunization gap

A child being vaccinated.

20 April 2015 -- World Immunization Week, from 24-30 April 2015, will signal a renewed global, regional, and national effort to accelerate action to increase awareness and demand for immunization by communities, and improve vaccination delivery services. This year’s campaign focuses on closing the immunization gap and reaching equity in immunization levels as outlined in the Global Vaccine Action Plan, which is a framework to prevent millions of deaths by 2020 through universal access to vaccines for people in all communities.

Caesarean sections should only be performed when medically necessary

Uganda: a young woman suffers from pain during labour.

16 April 2015 -- Caesarean section is one of the most common surgeries in the world, with rates continuing to rise, particularly in high- and middle-income countries. Although it can save lives, caesarean section is often performed without medical need, putting women and their babies at-risk of short- and long-term health problems. A new statement from WHO underscores the importance of focusing on the needs of the patient, on a case by case basis, and discourages the practice of aiming for “target rates”.

Does the world have enough midwives?

A health worker checking a pregnant woman during a home visit.
WHO/SEARO/N. Garnage

6 March 2015 -- “Does the world have enough midwives?” was the focus of an event coordinated by WHO and UNFPA with country partners. Highlighting the "State of the world’s midwifery report 2014", heads of both organizations and ambassadors from France, Morocco, Nepal, Senegal, Sweden, Zambia, and Zimbabwe spoke with passion about the urgent need to improve maternal and newborn health through investing in more midwives who are educated, trained and supported to international standards.


Contact us

Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (MCA)
World Health Organization
20 Avenue Appia
1211 Geneva 27

Tel.: +41 22 791 3281
Fax: +41 22 791 4853