Photo Credit: WHO/Patrick Brown

HealthSociety Southeast Asia17. October 2023

Saving Mothers’ and Children’s Lives: a Priority Across This Region

Southeast Asia has seen a reduction in maternal, newborn, and child deaths, and strategies and interventions have been developed and deployed even further to reduce the gap in health services across all countries.

“The Region has made significant gains in mortality reduction but progress within countries has been uneven,” states Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia. “We must adopt a differential approach to further reduce maternal, newborn, and child mortality based on their contextual priorities, available resources, and new WHO guidelines and standards.”

Since 2014, considerable efforts have been deployed to prevent more maternal, newborn, and child deaths. Maternal mortality fell by 41% in the region between 2010 and 2020. As for under-5 mortality, it was reduced by 45% between 2010 and 2021. Newborn mortality has almost halved during the same period. The quality and coverage of interventions like intrapartum care, breastfeeding, care of preterm and low birth weight infants, and birth defect prevention are encouraged to be accelerated and improved. “We must make a strategic shift to a life-course approach that goes beyond survival to ensure that women and children thrive and achieve their full potential for health and well-being.”

World Health Organization

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