Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Newborn health

Counting and reviewing every birth and death is key to preventing future tragedies

A mother holds her baby.
WHO/Yoshi Shimizu

16 August 2016 -- Every day, women die during childbirth and babies are born stillborn. With quality health care throughout pregnancy and childbirth, many of these deaths could be prevented, but countries often lack the knowledge and capacity needed to take actions to stop other women and babies dying in the same way. To address this issue WHO is today launching two new tools to help countries improve their data on stillbirths and neonatal deaths as well as a report on the global status of implementation of maternal death surveillance and response (MDSR), a key strategy for reducing preventable maternal mortality.

Support mums to breastfeed anytime, anywhere

Cartoon showing a restaurant waiter offerign a drink to a breastfeeding woman.

The 1-5 August is World Breastfeeding Week. The theme this year is “Support mums to breastfeed anytime, anywhere,” as all of society has a role to play in making our communities more breastfeeding-friendly. One of the reasons for doing this is that, according to WHO Director-General Margaret Chan and Unicef Executive Director Anthony Lake, "Breastfeeding is one of the most effective, and cost-effective ways to save and improve the lives of children everywhere, yielding lifelong health benefits for infants and their mothers."

World Prematurity Day

17 November 2014 -- WHO joined thousands of people worldwide in marking this year’s World Prematurity Day. Every year, an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm, which is defined as babies born alive before 37 weeks of pregnancy are completed. This is more than one in 10 babies – and these numbers are rising. The annual event, which takes place across the world, brings people together to raise awareness of the global problem of preterm birth, which is the leading cause of death globally in children under the age of five.

Caring for newborn and children in the community: new health worker manual


22 July 2014 -- WHO/MCA initiated the development of the materials Caring for the sick child in the community, to increase access to essential health services and meet demands of countries for materials to train community health workers in the context of the IMCI strategy.