A large WHO multicountry survey examined data from more than 300 000 women attending 357 health care facilities in 29 countries. This study found a poor correlation between coverage of ‘essential interventions’ (e.g. uterotonics for preventing postpartum haemorrhage; magnesium sulfate for eclampsia) and maternal mortality in health facilities. This study suggests that to achieve a substantial reduction in maternal mortality, a comprehensive approach to emergency care, and overall improvements in the quality of maternal health care will be needed.
Syphilis affects large numbers of pregnant women worldwide, causing serious health problems and even death to their babies. One study estimates the percentage of pregnant women tested for syphilis and adequately treated, ranges from 30% for Africa and the Mediterranean region to 70% for Europe. Another study suggests that, unless testing and treatment of syphilis in pregnancy are universally available, over half of pregnancies in women with syphilis will result in an adverse outcome.
Latest trends in infertility prevalence: the burden remains high
One in every four couples in developing countries is estimated to be affected by involuntary infertility. The inability to have children affects couples worldwide and causes emotional and psychological distress in both men and women. Estimates of prevalence of and trends in infertility are needed for prevention and treatment. By applying a consistent algorithm to demographic and reproductive surveys available from developed and developing countries, a new study estimates global infertility prevalence and trends, 1990 to 2010, by country and region.
WHO and partners programmes UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, and the World Bank work together as the H4+ in a joint effort to improve the health of women and children and accelerate progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 (reducing child mortality) and 5 (improving maternal health). The H4+ serves as the lead technical partners for the United Nations Secretary-General's Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health.
- Optimizing health worker roles for maternal and newborn health
- A guide to family planning for community health workers and their clients
- Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems
- WHO guidelines: use of cryotherapy for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
- WHO recommendations for the prevention and treatment of postpartum haemorrhage
- Full list of publications