Photo: Sebastian Rich/Save the Children
Habiba, 7 months pregnant, works in the fields of Namissica Village, Mozambique. At the time of this photograph Habiba was enrolled in a nutrition class in her village where she learned about how to set a balanced diet for herself during pregnancy and the importance of exclusive breastfeeding after giving birth, among other things.
Interestingly, three major events in the world of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health took place over the last two weeks. The 3rd International Conference on Family Planning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, World Pneumonia Day and World Prematurity Day.
With the issues of family planning, prematurity and pneumonia being critical for the improvement of maternal, newborn and child mortality, there seems to be a building momentum about how interrelated the health of the newborn, child and mother are.
Health experts from around the world and across disciplines are talking about the synergy and holistic thinking that is needed to scale-up progress in high-burden countries. The new evidence presented at the family planning conference along with new preterm birth research can serve as useful tools to help guide programmatic objectives moving forward.
Their efforts are complemented by the large scale advocacy efforts for World Pneumonia Day and World Prematurity Day. Those calls, coming from all corners of the world, seek action from governments, the private sector and civil society to address child pneumonia along with the causes of and complications from preterm birth. These three events show that improving reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health is possible and that by working together we can help to innovate and scale-up progress.