Lives in the Balance: Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

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Background: Where you live should not determine if you live; however, this remains the case for millions of women and children around the world. Since 2016, global progress has stagnated on maternal deaths. We are now severely off course in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals target for reducing maternal mortality, which is critically undermining women’s rights. Preterm birth is the single largest cause of death for children under five years of age, accounting for nearly 18 per cent of these deaths, and responsible for more than a third of all neonatal deaths (first month of life).

Several key progress reports and data have been released recently, including the Together for Change (joint ENAP/EPMM progress report) and Born Too Soon: Decade of Change report. Together, these reports raise major concerns about stalling progress, but they also shine a light on inspiring strides made by countries that can be replicated on a wider scale.

One red thread throughout is the vital need for concerted multi-stakeholder collaboration and cooperation necessary to advance this agenda. The first biennial International Maternal Newborn Health Conference (IMNHC) in early May provides a unique platform to galvanize the momentum necessary to advance progress and commitments on MNCH.


Building on the energy from IMNHC, and equipped with the latest evidence and data, this dialogue will provide a platform to discuss and commit to practical actions that all partners must take for every mother, baby and child to not only to survive, but thrive throughout the life course.” -PMNCH