For the five year period 2016-2020, UNICEF’s Strategy for Health sets two overarching goals: 1. End preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths 2. Promote the health and development of all children. To achieve these goals, the Strategy considers the health needs of the child at all life stages. It highlights the need for intensified efforts to address growing inequities in health outcomes, including a particular focus on addressing gender-specific needs and barriers that may determine whether boys and girls are able to reach their full potential in health and well-being. Working together with global and local partners, UNICEF will promote three approaches to contribute to these goals: addressing inequities in health outcomes; strengthening health systems including emergency preparedness, response and resilience; and promoting integrated, multisectoral policies and programmes. The three approaches described underpin a "menu of actions” from which country offices can select, based on their situation analysis, country programme focus, and context.
This publication provides a wide-ranging assessment of the current state of child survival and primary health care for mothers, newborns and children. It examines lessons learned in child health during the past few decades and outlines the most important emerging precepts and strategies for reducing deaths among children under age five and for providing a continuum of care for mothers, newborns and children
‘Progress for Children’ is a series that monitors progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. This edition focuses on maternal health and, in particular, maternal mortality. It considers general progress and then examines particular regions. The report card acknowledges progress in improving maternal health, but argues that it is not sufficient to meet the MDG target of reducing maternal mortality by three quarters between 1990 and 2015
"This paper summarizes the importance of improving maternal and reproductive health, the progress made to date and lessons learned, and the major challenges confronting programs today. The paper highlights the progress that some countries, including very poor ones, have made in reducing maternal mortality, but cautions that progress in many countries remains slow. Relying on evidence from the most recent research and survey information, the paper also analyzes the key determinants and evidence on effective interventions for attaining the maternal health MDG. The paper finds that key interventions to improve maternal and reproductive health and reduce maternal mortality include the following mutually reinforcing strategies: (a) mobilizing political commitment and fostering an enabling policy environment; (b) investing in social and economic development such as female education, poverty reduction, and improvements in women’s status; (c) providing family planning services; (d) ensuring quality antenatal care, skilled attendance during childbirth, and availability of emergency obstetric services for pregnancy complications; and (e) strengthening the health system and community involvement. The paper emphasizes that carrying out interventions remains a challenge in environments where political commitment, policies, as well as institutions and health systems, are weak. The paper concludes with guiding lessons from some of the countries that have successfully improved maternal health and with a discussion of some of the difficulties of measuring maternal mortality and morbidity outcomes"
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