Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

World Immunization Week 2016: Close the immunization gap

24-30 April 2016 -- Immunization averts 2 to 3 million deaths annually. However, an additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided, if global vaccination coverage improves. Today, nearly 1 in 5 children worldwide are still missing routine immunizations for preventable diseases. During World Immunization Week 2016, WHO highlights recent gains in immunization coverage, and outlines further steps needed to meet global vaccination targets by 2020.

Updated guidance on the care of critically ill children

23 February 2016 -- Children admitted to hospital often die within 24 hours of admission. Many of these deaths could be prevented if very sick children are identified soon after their arrival in the health facility, and treatment is started immediately. This updated guideline provides clinical guidance on the most common emergency conditions in children presenting at a health facility, including airway obstruction, shock, seizures and severe dehydration.

Increasing breastfeeding could save 800 000 children and US$ 300 billion every year

A mother breastfeeding her baby, Hong Kong.
EPA/Alex Hofford

29 January 2016 -- A major new Series on breastfeeding, published in “The Lancet”, finds that despite strong health and economic benefits from breastfeeding, few children are exclusively breastfed until 6 months, as recommended by WHO. Globally, an estimated 1 in 3 infants under 6 months are exclusively breastfed – a rate that has not improved in 2 decades.

Maternity waiting homes protect newborns and mothers in Namibia


19 January 2016 -- More than 2.6 million stillbirths occur globally every year. In Namibia WHO worked with the Ministry of Health to build maternal waiting homes to bring mothers closer to the care they need before, during, and after birth. Averting stillbirths has been one of the programme’s big successes. But worldwide there has been little change in the number of stillbirths, despite significant reductions in the number of maternal and child deaths worldwide.


Zika virus

Microcephaly and zika virus Q&A

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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