Maternal and reproductive health

Cervical cancer screening and management of cervical pre-cancers

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide and causes a significant number of deaths in the South-East Asia (SEA) Region. Nearly 200,000 new cases of cervical cancer occurred in SEA Region Member States in 2008, giving an incidence of almost 25 per 100,000 and a mortality rate of almost 14 per 100,000. Cervical cancer can be prevented by early screening and vaccination. However, due to poor access to screening and treatment services, the vast majority of these deaths occur in women from nine Member States of the South-East Asia Region which account for more than one third of the global burden of cervical cancer.

Pocket book of Hospital care for mothers

Guidelines for management of Common maternal conditions
There has been a significant decline in maternal mortality in the Member States of the WHO South-East Asia Region over the past two decades. In comparison with 1990, there were 149,000 fewer maternal deaths in 2015 – an unprecedented feat in maternal survival in the history of the Region. Despite this sharp reduction by 69 per cent, maternal mortality continues to be high in the many Member States. To accelerate further reductions in maternal mortality, ‘Ending preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths with focus on neonatal deaths’ in 2014 was declared one of the eight Flagship Priorities for the WHO South-East Asia Region by Regional Director. The Pocket Book of Hospital Care for Mothers: Guidelines for Management of Common Maternal Conditions brought out by World Health Organisation (WHO)-Regional Office South East Asia, is a compilation of updated WHO guidelines for the management of pregnancy and common pregnancy-related or associated complications and diseases at the first referral level or even higher levels in low-resource countries.

Regional Meeting to Strengthen Capacity in the new WHO family planning guidelines: Towards universal reproductive health coverage in SDGs era

17th-19th April, 2017, New Delhi, India
The progress made towards the implementation of family planning programmes in the WHO South East Asia Region was reviewed during the ‘Regional Meeting to Strengthen Capacity in the new WHO family planning guidelines: Towards universal reproductive health coverage in SDGs era’ held on 17th to 19th April, 2017 in New Delhi, India. The regional meeting brought together national family planning programme managers from ministries of health from 10 of the 11 SEAR Member States who were oriented on the new updated WHO guidelines and tools on family planning, including but not limited, to the medical eligibility criteria (MEC 5th edition), training resource package(TRP) and the postpartum family planning compendium(PPFP). This report presents the highlights of the meeting including technical review by experts and recommendations for optimal implementation of the latest evidence –based family planning interventions at the national level with specific focus on countries with high burden of maternal and neonatal mortality.

Strengthening Country Capacity on Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response

Report of a South-East Asia Regional Meeting
16–18 February 2016, Maldives

Despite significant reduction (of more than 60%) in maternal and child mortality, our Region missed achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5.

In response, a Regional flagship priority has been established for ending preventable maternal and neonatal mortality. To advance the flagship, the Regional Meeting to Strengthen Capacity on Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) was held in Maldives on 16–18 February 2016 to fortify the South-East Asia regional capacity and support country-level actions for maternal and perinatal death surveillance and response (MPDSR) to end preventable maternal and perinatal deaths.

The MPDSR meeting provided an opportunity for all SEAR countries to develop a 5-year term plan, a 3-year term plan and a plan for 2016 for implementing and expanding MPDSR in each country. The key message in expanding MPDSR was: “Think big, start small and grow slowly”. 

Recent highlights

Maternal death review

Study on the implementation of maternal death review in five countries in the South-East Asia Region of the World Health Organization

Mapping abortion policies

Mapping abortion policies, programmes and services in the South-East Asia Region