Maternal and child health

Maternal and child health

What we do for maternal and child health

UNICEF is working with the Government of Uzbekistan in order to improve access to quality health care for mothers and children. The focus in this area will be on the provision of policy advice, the introduction of international standards and protocols regarding safe motherhood, antenatal and newborn care, and the integrated management of childhood illnesses. UNICEF has piloted low-cost, high-impact interventions for child survival and development, has strengthened the Ministry of Health’s policy and regulatory frameworks for maternal and child healthcare, has supported the establishment of a Mother and Child Health Coordination Council (MCHCC), and has upgraded the technical knowledge and skills of health system managers and service providers.

Achievements to date

  • UNICEF has enhanced maternal and child health services in Uzbekistan by training 17,000 health providers through the Child Survival Package which offers advice on how to treat common childhood illnesses and prevent child mortality, and through the Newborn Survival Package, which covers effective perinatal care, neonatal resuscitation and essential newborn care;
  • UNICEF has supported the adoption of the International Live Birth Definition in targeted maternity hospitals, and has educated families on appropriate childcare and child-rearing practices. A system for gathering and storing birth statistics, desegregated by birth weight and time of newborn death if required, has also been introduced;
  • UNICEF has enhanced the advocacy and capacity development of key government stakeholders, strengthened routine immunisation, and helped secure 100 per cent state funding for vaccine procurement. Strategic communication and social mobilisation interventions have helped contribute to high vaccine coverage;
  • UNICEF has established 17 new training centres, has trained over 600 trainers who themselves will educate over 35,000 health professionals members, and has standardised relevant normative documents.

The way forward

  • The implementation of the EU funded project ‘Improvement of Maternal and Child Health Services in Uzbekistan - Phase II’, with the support of the Ministry of Health;
  • The scaling up of high-impact maternal and child health programmes to a national scale, targeting deprived and difficult-to-reach population groups;
  • The application of effective newborn and child survival packages in all maternal and child health care facilities across Uzbekistan, implemented by over 13,000 health professionals, and the introduction of quality control mechanisms and tools;
  • The updating of the curricula of medical institutes, making sure that future doctors are trained in international standards of maternal and child healthcare, and the support of families in twelve rural communities to adopt healthy behaviours and demand better health services;
  • The sustaining of the national immunisation programme through better vaccine supply management, safer vaccinations, and improved communication skills for health professionals.