Sexual and reproductive health

Developing Centres of Excellence in Knowledge Translation (KT) in maternal and perinatal health and preventing unsafe abortion

Grants for institutional capacity building- The finding that providing evidence from clinical research is necessary but not sufficient for the provision of optimal care has created interest in knowledge translation (KT), the scientific study of methods for closing the knowledge-to-practice gap and of the barriers and facilitators inherent in this process. Policy makers, funding agencies, clinicians, and researchers have recognized the need for facilitating the implementation of knowledge into practice and improve quality of care. While there has been an exponential growth in the interest in KT, to date there is limited capacity in the field. Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, and Zimbabwe are the selcted African countries who can apply for this funding.

Ending disrespect and abuse during facility-based childbirth

Health care worker giving newborn baby to mother in health facility
Lieve Blancquaert

23 September: WHO and its partners around the world issue a statement on the prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during facility-based delivery. Every woman has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including the right to dignified, respectful care during pregnancy and childbirth. However, across the world many women experience disrespectful, abusive, or neglectful treatment during childbirth in facilities. These practices can violate women’s rights, deter women from seeking and using maternal health care services and can have implications for their health and well-being.

Half of preterm babies born in hospitals miss out on life-saving drug

Photo of man holding newborn baby
Photo: Lieve Blancquaert
Antenatal corticosteroids could save the lives of some 400 000 premature babies

A new World Health Organization study reveals that only half of women who gave birth preterm in hospitals have received steroid injections which prevent death and disability among vulnerable, preterm newborns. The study is the largest to look at the use of these life-saving drugs internationally. These drugs have existed for decades, don’t require refrigeration, and cost less than US$ 1 an injection.

Highlights on maternal and perinatal health

 

  • Statement

    Tetanus Toxoid vaccine

    WHO is concerned that misinformation circulating in the media about the Tetanus Toxoid vaccine could have a seriously negative impact on the health of women and children. The Organization confirms that the Tetanus Toxoid (TT) vaccine is safe. The vaccine has been used in 52 countries, to immunize 130 million women to protect them and their newborn babies from tetanus. There is no HCG hormone in tetanus toxoid vaccines.

  • Consensus statement

    Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality (EPMM)

    The EPMM Working Group invited comments on the draft paper "Strategies toward ending preventable maternal mortality". A country (Member States) and public consultation was conducted during August 2014. The next step consists in reviewing and incorporating the received comments and suggestion into the Strategy.

  • Study on fistula repair surgery

    Obstetric fistula: the untreated tragedy

    A vaginal fistula is a devastating condition, affecting an estimated 2 million girls and women across Africa and Asia. There are numerous challenges associated with providing fistula repair services in developing countries. Finding ways of providing services in a more efficient and cost-effective manner, without compromising surgical outcomes and the overall health of the patient, is paramount. WHO has embraced this challenge and taken leadership to expand necessary research to improve the lives of women affected by fistula.

  • Preventing postpartum haemorrhage

    WHO to trial a new drug to stop women dying in childbirth

    WHO, Merck and Ferring Pharmaceuticals announce a partnership to evaluate a new, proprietary, room-temperature stable formulation of carbetocin—a drug for preventing postpartum haemorrhage after childbirth.This trial is a new step for WHO. If the trial is successful, it could mean the difference between life and death for thousands of women.

Developing and strengthening community health worker programs at scale

This reference guide is not a WHO publication, however the WHO recommendations on optimizing the roles of health workers in maternal and newborn health were used extensively in its development.

Innovation

Assisted vaginal delivery device winner in “Saving Lives at Birth” challenge

Mobile technology

Using emerging mHealth best practices — automated reminders and reporting, decision support, multimedia counseling — OpenSRP builds on existing robust mobile technologies to deliver a powerful and dependable application to skilled health workers, empowering them to more effectively deliver and account for the care they provide to their clients.

Videos on newborn


These training videos have been provided by the Global Health Media Project and are based on standards of care described in: Care of the Newborn Reference Manual, Save the Children, 2004; Managing Newborn Problems, WHO, 2003; and Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses Chart Booklet, WHO, 2011.

Videos on pregnancy and childbirth