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Improve Maternal and Newborn Health and Nutrition

Providing quality healthcare and nutritional support for all women and babies is vital for healthy generations.

In spite of substantial advances in maternal and newborn health over recent decades, roughly 300,000 women still die every year due to pregnancy-related complications. There is widespread evidence and agreement within the global community on what needs to be done to prevent these deaths and improve the health, nutrition, and wellbeing of girls, women, and babies.

2 minutes
Every two minutes, a woman dies from complications in pregnancy or childbirth — the majority of these deaths are preventable.
2.6 million
2.6 million stillbirths occur annually — 98% of them in developing countries.
$16
Every dollar spent on scaling up nutrition interventions for pregnant women and children yields $16 in returns.
73% and 80%
If we meet the need for modern contraception and provide all pregnant women and newborns with quality care, maternal deaths would decrease by 73% and newborn deaths would decrease by 80%.

Investing in girls and women creates a ripple effect that yields multiple benefits, not only for individual women, but also for families, communities, and countries. Investments in reproductive, maternal, and newborn health not only save lives and improve health, they increase both social and economic benefits. Given the important role girls and women play in contributing to development, ensuring they survive and thrive is not only a human right, but a benefit to all.

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Improve Maternal and Newborn Health and Nutrition
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Improve Maternal and Newborn Health and Nutrition
Investments in maternal, newborn, and reproductive health save lives and...
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Improve Data and Accountability for Girls and Women
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Improve Data and Accountability for Girls and Women
Data play a critical role in understanding gaps in programs...
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Ensure Equitable and Quality Education at All Levels
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Ensure Equitable and Quality Education at All Levels
When girls and women receive a quality education, they will...
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Ensure Health For All
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Ensure Health For All
Healthy girls and women are the cornerstone of healthy societies.
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  • Guarantee access to quality, affordable care before, during, and after pregnancy — inclusive of midwifery and obstetric care, modern contraception, safe abortion, and post-abortion care.
  • Ensure quality care is inclusive of midwifery and obstetric care, family planning, safe abortion and post-abortion care, and repairs of fistula.
  • Meet the unmet need for modern contraception for girls and women.
  • Support the prevention, screening, and treatment of common challenges during pregnancy such as obesity, gestational diabetes, and high blood pressure.
  • Increase national budgets for maternal and newborn health and nutrition to meet global health and nutrition targets by 2030.
  • Set measurable targets for improving maternal and newborn health and nutrition, monitor progress, and strengthen accountability mechanisms, while ensuring the equal involvement of all stakeholders, including civil society.
  • Address barriers to healthcare, including user fees, poor infrastructure — including inadequate access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene — and a lack of essential supplies, medicines, and micronutrients.
  • Include girls, young people, and women in the design and implementation of maternal and newborn health and nutrition programs as context experts.
  • Hold governments accountable to commitments made in support of girls’ and women’s health, rights, and wellbeing.
  • Promote and provide young people and women access to nutritious food, counseling on proper nutritional practices such as early initiation, exclusive and continued breastfeeding, and critical micronutrients.
  • Ensure that adequate parental protection measures are put in place so that women who return to work are aware of their rights and can continue breastfeeding until their baby is at least 6 months old.
  • Ensure that the full spectrum of maternal and newborn health, food security, and nutrition interventions are included in humanitarian response guidelines and protocols, financed, and implemented, including the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) and the minimum standards in food security and nutrition guidelines.
Explore the Policy Brief
What Women Want: A Q&A with Dr. Aparajita Gogoi

What Women Want: A Q&A with Dr. Aparajita Gogoi

To improve maternal health, Dr. Aparajita Gogoi, National Coordinator of White Ribbon Alliance India explains the need to ask women a simple question to better understand their desire to access quality and respectful healthcare at all levels – including during pregnancy and childbirth.

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