Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health: Key Messages of this Volume

Authors: Robert Black, Neff Walker, Ramanan Laxminarayan, Marleen Temmerman


Chapter 1 summarizes the (1) levels and trends of reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) indicators, (2) proven interventions for prevention of mortality, (3) costs of these interventions and potential health service delivery platforms, and (4) system innovations. Despite sizable recent reductions in child and maternal deaths, the rate of mortality decline remains too slow to achieve millennium development goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 globally. Deaths from RMNCH conditions could see reduction by scaling up integrated packages of interventions across the continuum of care. Many of these interventions, especially family planning, labor and delivery management, promotion of breastfeeding, immunizations, improved childhood nutrition, and treatment of severe infectious diseases, remain among the most cost-effective of all health interventions. Nevertheless, further implementation research remains necessary to adapt these interventions to the local health service context and achieve the greatest effects. The benefits of scaling up packages extend beyond survival to driving improvement, equity, and accountability.


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