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WHO launches new tools to help countries address stillbirths, maternal and neonatal deaths

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WHO launches new tools to help countries address stillbirths, maternal and neonatal deaths
Counting and reviewing every birth and death is key to preventing future tragedies

Every day, women die during childbirth and babies are born stillborn. With quality health care throughout pregnancy and childbirth, many of these deaths could be prevented, but countries often lack the knowledge and capacity needed to take actions to stop other women and babies dying in the same way. To address this issue WHO is today launching two new tools to help countries improve their data on stillbirths and neonatal deaths as well as a report on the global status of implementation of maternal death surveillance and response (MDSR), a key strategy for reducing preventable maternal mortality:

Publications

It is estimated that every year, worldwide, 303 000 women die during pregnancy and childbirth, 2.7 million babies die during the first 28 days of life and 2.6 million babies are stillborn.

    “Every time a death is reviewed it has the potential to tell a story about what could have been done to save a mother and her baby.”

    Dr Anthony Costello, Director of Maternal, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health

Nearly all babies who are stillborn and half of all newborn deaths who die do not receive a birth or death certificate, and thus have never been registered, reported or investigated by the health system. As a result, countries often do not know the true numbers of deaths or the causes of these deaths and thus are unable to take the right actions to prevent others babies and mothers from dying.

“We need to ensure all births and deaths are counted, and that we can understand what to do to prevent future deaths, no matter where they occur,” says Ian Askew, Director of Reproductive Health and Research at WHO. “By reviewing the causes of maternal and infant deaths countries can improve quality of health care, take corrective actions, and prevent millions of families from enduring the pain of losing their infant or mother.”

WHO Application of the International Classification of Disease-10 todeaths during the perinatal period (ICD-PM)

This standardized system for classifying stillbirths and neonatal deaths, aims to help countries link stillbirths and neonatal deaths to contributing conditions in pregnant women, such as diabetes or hypertension to identify the required interventions to prevent future deaths and enable comparisons within and between diverse settings. Previously there was no classification system that could be used across all low-, middle- , and high-income countries in a consistent way.

 

Credit: http://www.who.int/maternal_child_adolescent/news_events/better-data-sti...