Newborn care in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

Madi Haifa, Nadia Akseer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Global improvements in maternal and child health (MNCH) and survival over the MDG period has been substantial with about 50% reduction in mortality rates for women and children under age 5. However gains have not been uniform regionally or nationally. The Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) managed to decrease preventable newborn deaths by 37% between 1990 to 2015, but current rates in the region remain unacceptably high and are the second highest globally. Causes of newborn deaths in the EMR are largely preventable for which effective cost-efficient interventions are available. Coverage of essential interventions across the continuum of care is suboptimal in the region with huge variations between and within countries. Moreover, the region faces many unique challenges that must be overcome to further accelerate gains in MNCH. Multifaceted complex issues, including demographic shifts, dual disease burden, increasing health costs, widespread poverty, huge subnational inequities, gender inequality, conflict and large-scale population displacement, remain pervasive in the EMR. Persistent political turmoil, leading to increasing instability, further aggravates these existing challenges in the region. Thus it's critical that MNCH remains a health priority by heads of state, ministries of health, nongovernment organizations and civic societies across the EMR, irrespective of the shifting social and political landscape. The region should also focus on implementing strategies to increase allocation of funds to maternal, child and adolescent health, and to effectively utilize resources received from UN organizations and development partners. As the EMR transitions into the post-2015 sustainable development era, it must align priorities and strategies to reduce inequities and overcome bottlenecks. Additionally, it is vital for the region to keep reproductive, maternal and child health at forefront of their agenda in order to enhance further progress and sustain achievements in morbidity and mortality, particularly amongst the most weak and vulnerable-the unborn and the newborn child.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeonatal and Perinatal Mortality
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal Challenges, Risk Factors and Interventions
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781536105742
ISBN (Print)9781536105629
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Eastern mediterranean region
  • Health
  • Interventions
  • Mortality
  • Newborn

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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