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New WHO vision to improve quality of care for pregnant women and newborns

News 1 May 2015

The RCOG welcomes the publication today of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) vision to improve the quality of care for every pregnant woman and newborn baby and end preventable deaths.

In 2000, all 191 United Nations Member States agreed on eight Millennium Development Goals, with the aim of tackling poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women by 2015.

In a commentary published in BJOG, WHO discusses the importance of providing quality of care throughout pregnancy, childbirth and postnatally and highlights the importance of communication to ensure a better experience of care, by providing respect and dignity and emotional support.

According to WHO, 70% of maternal deaths occur as a result of complications of pregnancy and during childbirth, including haemorrhage, hypertension, sepsis, and abortion and 85% of baby deaths are due to complications of preterm birth, birth asphyxia, death during pregnancy such as stillbirth and neonatal infections.

Dr. Paul Fogarty, the RCOG’s Senior Vice President, Global Health says: “With the end of the Millennium Development Goals this year, the WHO’s approach is vital to the development of a new global strategy for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health, to ensure that sexual and reproductive health and rights are included within the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. It’s an approach and a vision that the RCOG fully and actively supports.”