Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Child health

Daily, 7000 newborns die, despite decrease in under-five mortality

Elizabeth Wezena with babies in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit of the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital in the Upper East region of Ghana.
UNICEF

19 October 2017– Every day in 2016, 15 000 children died before their fifth birthday, 46% of them – or 7000 babies – died in the first 28 days of life. At current trends, 60 million children will die before their fifth birthday between 2017 and 2030, half of them newborns, according to the report released by UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank and the Population Division of UNDESA which make up the Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation.

WHO releases guidelines to address overweight and obesity in children

A mother feeds her infant child; Nepal.
2013 Valerie Caldas, Photoshare

4 October 2017 – As part of its response to the global epidemic of obesity, WHO is today releasing guidelines to support primary healthcare workers identify and help children who are overweight or obese. In 2016 an estimated 41 million children under 5 were affected by overweight or obesity. Without effective treatment they are very likely to remain overweight and obese throughout their lives, putting them at risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and premature death, as well as suffering physical and psychological consequences in childhood.

Nurturing care for early childhood development: a framework for action and results

10 September 2017 -- WHO, in collaboration with UNICEF, and supported by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, Child & Adolescent Health and the ECD Action Network is guiding a process to scale up action and results for early childhood development in collaboration with countries all other relevant stakeholders. This process will produce a nurturing care common framework which will guide policy, programme, and budget support at country level.

New programme reporting standards for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health programmes

Mother and child resting at postnatal ward, Cambodia.
WHO/WPRO/Y Shimizu

14 September 2017 – Reporting on health programmes often covers what was done and not how it was done and in what context. This information is key to understanding impact and can facilitate successful replication and scale-up. To address this, WHO is launching new standards for reporting on sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health programmes at this year’s Global Evidence Summit in Cape Town, South Africa.

WHO's work on child health

A mother feeds her child.

A group of childen.
  • Early child development
    WHO recommends a continuum of care – from preconception through the formative early years – to safeguard and maximize children’s developmental outcomes.
  • Breastfeeding and child growth
    Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.
  • HIV and infant feeding
    WHO and partners recommend promoting and supporting breastfeeding and the provision of lifelong antiretroviral treatment to optimise HIV-free survival among HIV-exposed, uninfected infants and children.