8 March 2016 - International Women's Day: When WHO decided to update its guidelines on antenatal care (ANC), there was a feeling that maybe a different approach was needed. The current ANC guidance was based on a set of systematic reviews of the evidence and a trial and it proposed a model with at least four antenatal care visits (also known as focused antenatal care). It has been widely adopted in low- and middle-income countries, yet in 2012, only 52% of pregnant women had four or more ANC visits. To try and understand why this might be and how uptake of antenatal care services could be improved, a set of reviews were undertaken to look at what was missing from current antenatal care programmes.
3 March 2016 ¦ WHO publishes interim guidance for the management of pregnancy in the context of Zika virus. This interim guidance includes recommended practices for: Preventive measures; Diagnosis; General care and symptomatic treatment; Care for pregnant women living in areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission; Antenatal evaluation of Zika virus related fetal microcephaly and/or other brain abnormalities; Care for pregnant women with possible Zika virus related fetal microcephaly and/or other brain abnormalities.
19 January 2016 -- Worldwide in 2015, for every 1000 total births, 18.4 babies were stillborn, mostly in low- and middle-income countries. Progress in reducing this rate has been slow and at present speed, 160 years will pass before a pregnant woman in Africa has the same chance of her baby being born alive as a woman in a high-income country today. Even in high-income countries rates vary from 1.3 to 8 per 1000 births, a variation that shows further improvements are possible. A Lancet Series of five papers offers a roadmap for eliminating stillbirths by 2030, one the most neglected tragedies in global health today.
Helping mothers get the best care during childbirth
Significant decline in maternal mortality – but much remains to be done
Preventing and treating infections around the time of childbirth
Call to action to improve the health of women, children and adolescents worldwide
Improving preterm birth outcomes: WHO launches new guidance
Women face diverse forms of mistreatment and abuse during childbirth in health facilities worldwide
Developing and strengthening community health worker programs at scale
WHO and its partners around the world issued 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.
Strategies toward ending preventable maternal mortality (EPMM)
27 February 2015 – Maternal health, wellbeing and survival must remain a central goal and an investment priority in the post-2015 framework for sustainable development to ensure that progress continues and accelerates, with a focus on reducing inequities and discrimination. Attention to maternal mortality and morbidity must be accompanied by improvements along the continuum of care for women and children, including commitments to sexual and reproductive health and newborn and child survival.
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.
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.
Preventing postpartum haemorrhage
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.