Prevention of Perinatal and Neonatal Mortality 2001–2005

Note: Pages in this section have been stored solely for archiving purposes. Information contained here refers to the 2001–2005 CPAP. Follow this link for current details about UNICEF programmes in Turkey.

Photograph by Rana Mullan © UNICEF Turkey 2004

Early Childhood Care begins before birth when the mother’s well-being has a direct effect on that of her unborn child.
Photograph by Rana Mullan
© UNICEF Turkey 2004


The antenatal period and the first days after birth are crucial to the general well-being and survival of a newborn child. The IMR is high in Turkey at 29‰ live births: most fatalities occur during the first twenty-four hours after birth. A significant number of newborns stop breathing during this time and the resultant asphyxiation can cause permanent brain damage and often death. Almost 50% of women living in rural areas receive no antenatal care.

Good antenatal care is necessary to avoid perinatal and postnatal mortalities since many potential problems can be identified and treated or at least anticipated prior to birth. Well trained health personnel in delivery rooms can ensure that preventable deaths and disabilities do not occur and are able to react appropriately when they do -- using resuscitation techniques in the case of newborn asphyxiation, for instance. Postnatal care helps to ensure the health and survival of both mothers and babies.

Prevention of Perinatal and Neonatal Mortality (PPNM) aims:

  • to build the capacity of healthcare personnel providing services to pregnant women and to mothers and newborns;
  • to increase the early registration of pregnant women at health care facilities;
  • to ensure that all pregnant women have at least six antenatal check-ups beginning during the first three months of pregnancy;
  • to ensure that all births take place in safe, hygienic conditions and that they are attended by trained health personnel;
  • to ensure that all health personnel working in delivery rooms and in antenatal and postnatal care are appropriately trained.

PPNM will achieve these objectives by:

  • building the capacity of health professionals;
  • improving standards of management in the maternity care system;
  • raising awareness among women of child-bearing age of the benefits of antenatal and postnatal care;
  • supporting the full access of women and children to health services.

PPNM is expected to:

  • reduce the IMR to 20‰ live births by 2005;
  • reduce the MMR by 50% in project provinces by 2005;
  • reduce preventable disabilities of newborn infants;
  • improve maternity care in the antenatal, delivery and postnatal periods.

Read what WHO says about Maternal and Newborn Health in Health - A Key to Prosperity.

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