Experience of WHO Western Pacific in scaling- up Early Essential Newborn Care in the region

Now, a newborn dies every four minutes in the Western Pacific Region, accounting for half of all under-five deaths [1]. While this is a great improvement from 2012, many deaths remain due to preventable causes. Early Essential Newborn Care aims to eliminate harmful practices that increase risk of infection, hypothermia and death among newborns including unnecessary separations, suction and procedures.

The Regional Action Plan (2014-2020) aimed to reduce newborn mortality and had specific targets: 1) at least 80% of facilities where births take place are implementing early essential newborn care (EENC) and 2) at least 90% of births in subnational areas are attended by skilled health personnel. The Regional Action Plan used a new coaching-based approach, with an intensive focus on data to drive programming [2]. Dramatic progress, largely funded by countries in the region and delivered by local facilitators in existing systems, has resulted in significant and potentially sustainable practice improvements. Since 2014, an estimated 6017 facilities have begun implementing EENC across nine countries. Seven countries have achieved or are close to achieving the regional target of EENC introduction in at least 80% of childbirth facilities.

This webinar shared the progress and experience of the WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific in scaling up Early Essential Newborn Care. It was organized by the Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific.

Checklist and module teaching aids for EENC available on www.thefirstembrace.org

[1] Level and trends in child mortality: Report 2020

[2] http://www.thefirstembrace.org/de


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  • speakers
    Dr. Howard Sobel, Regional Coordinator for Maternal Child Health and Quality Safety, Division of Health Systems and Services, WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific