Humanitarian Settings Must Include Essential Services For Maternal, Newborn Health

Devex: The importance of newborn health in humanitarian situations
Ariel Pablos-Mendez, assistant administrator for global health at USAID, and Robert Clay, vice president for global health at Save the Children

“…To reach the ambitious [Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)] for health, including reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health, we must make humanitarian settings a high priority, because populations in these contexts shoulder a high burden of need and vulnerability. … Health services implemented in humanitarian settings usually include prepackaged kits for reproductive, maternal, and child health. However, we need to redouble efforts to ensure that essential supplies for newborn care are included in these kits — with appropriate doses of certain medicines, supplies, and newborn-sized devices. … Organizations working in complex humanitarian situations should review their ongoing and planned activities to ensure that every program and package includes essential newborn care messages and best-practices (such as support for early and exclusive breastfeeding), that trainings cover maternal newborn health issues, and that supply kits include newborn-specific equipment and medicines appropriate to the setting” (10/19).