Last week we posted a blog entry encouraging submissions to the WHO’s new Every Newborn Action Plan. The public consultation closed on Friday, and the WHO will now assess all the submissions it received before finalising its approach for the Every Newborn strategy for the World Health Assembly in May.

 

The Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) is the new effort by the WHO to reduce and hopefully eradicate the still shockingly-high number of unnecessary and avoidable deaths of newborns around the world.

 

True to our word, DSW  submitted a contribution to the ENAP discussion, which you can now find here. Given the background and focus of DSW, our submission naturally focused on the importance of girls and adolescents and male involvement, as well as the linkage between maternal and newborn health with reproductive health and access to family planning and R&D on Poverty related and neglected tropical diseases.  In particular, we highlighted several key issues:

 

  • Unintended pregnancies especially among girls and young adolescents are the cause of high rate of maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality.
  • ENAP should focus more on the special needs of young people, especially girls of 10 year old onwards. Indeed, adolescent unintended pregnancies present greater risk to the mother’s and newborn’s health that could have also repercussions through generations on growth failure.
  • The ENAP should highlight the need for holistic and human rights based approach. Lack of access to family planning is linked not only to health systems but also to cultural and social context, gender inequality and lack of women and girls’ empowerment and respect to their rights. Changes need to involve the whole community in particular men and boys.
  • Research also needs to be mentioned while defining strategies to improve maternal and newborn health. Poverty-related (HIV &AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria) and neglected tropical diseases (PRNDS) are among the leading indirect causes of maternal mortality and greatly affect newborn’s health.

 

You can read the full submission here.

 

We look forward with interest to the outcomes of the ENAP process, and working with the WHO and other partners towards the goal of eradicating newborn deaths. We will continue to keep you posted on the latest developments.