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3-year study identifies key interventions to reduce maternal, newborn and child deaths

Some 56 evidence-based interventions will sharply reduce the 358,000 women who still die each year during pregnancy and childbirth and the 7.6 million children who die before the age of 5, according to a massive three-year global study.

The study, Essential Interventions, Commodities and Guidelines for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, is designed to facilitate decision-making in low- and middle-income countries about how to allocate limited resources for maximum impact on the health of women and children.

The study reviewed 50,000 medical papers to determine the proven effectiveness of interventions and impact on survival, identifying 56 essential inventions. The study is released today by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Aga Khan University and The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH).

Some of the interventions include:

  • Manage maternal anemia with iron;
  • Prevent and manage post-partum hemorrhage;
  • Immediate thermal care for newborns;
  • Extra support for feeding small and preterm babies;
  • Antibiotics for the treatment of pneumonia in children.

PMNCH which has 440 partners, including countries, UN and multilateral agencies, non-governmental organizations, health groups, foundations, academic and research institutions, and the private sector, will distribute this essential list through its global network and actively advocate for its use. A condensed version on a simple, hand-held slide ruler for instant reference is currently under development.

"A lot is not brand new," says Elizabeth Mason, M.D., Director of the World Health Organization's department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health, and an author of the study. "It has been more a question of putting together information in a different way and building consensus among physicians, scientists and professional organizations to lay out an evidenced-based path to help women

Contact: Marshall Hoffman
Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health

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