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76th World Health Assembly: Health of Women and the Impacts of Climate Change

On 24 May, a progress report on the Global Strategy for Women’s Children’s and Adolescent’s Health (2016-2030) was presented, urging countries to step-up investment in family planning interventions and routine postnatal care for women and newborns in a bid to reduce maternal and child mortality.

The report outlined that in most regions of the world – with the exception of Southeast Asia – maternal and child mortality rates have either stagnated or increased. The majority of these deaths are preventable and result from lack of access to sexual and reproductive health services, as well as to prenatal care.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, nearly 8,400 women die each year due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, with a disproportionate impact on poor women and those from minority ethnic backgrounds. Approximately 9 out of 10 of these deaths are preventable.

During the discussion, countries of the Americas highlighted the importance of recovering progress towards maternal mortality following the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular focus on women from vulnerable populations as well as on strengthening mental health initiatives for adolescents.

The WHO’s Global Strategy provides countries with a roadmap to end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths, including stillbirths, by 2030, as well as to improve their overall health and well-being.

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