Sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia, which have the highest maternal and child mortality rates, have made some progress, but not enough to meet the MDGs 4 & 5 by 2015.
The majority of maternal deaths occur during or immediately after childbirth due to bleeding, high blood pressure, prolonged or obstructed labor and infections.
A child's greatest risk of dying is during the first 28 days of life, accounting for 40 percent among children under the age of 5. Half of newborn deaths occur during the first 24 hours and 75 percent during the first week of life, with preterm birth, severe infections and asphyxia being the main causes.
Overall, children in low-income countries are 18 times more likely to die before the age of 5 than those in wealthier countries.
A Guidance Document
The underlying thrust of "Essential Interventions" is to support low and middle income countries meet the MDGs 4 & 5. It gives policy makers a way to make informed choices on how to set priorities and where to put their funds and resources, guided by a list of absolutely critical interventions.
"These are not instructions," says Dr. Mason. "This is a guidance document. The list also gives PMNCH partners, depending on their focus, a way to support country efforts."
The interventions are classified according to three levels of required care:
The interventions are also classified according
|Contact: Marshall Hoffman|
Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health