The MCH Issue
The latest epidemic caused by the Zika virus in Brazil and the Americas, as well as its potential global impact, highlighted a further threat to maternal and child health (MCH). MCH is a vital topic in public health that is concerned with the health of pregnant women, new-borns, children and adolescents, and the various factors threatening the attainment of acceptable standards of health for this demographic. The WHO reported that in 2015, 303,000 mothers died due to pregnancy or childbirth complications, 5.9 million children under the age of 5 died, and 45% of under-5 deaths occurred within the first 28 days of their life. The majority of these deaths are concentrated in low-and-middle income countries (LMICs), particularly Sub-Saharan Africa, and they can be preventable. Strategies to improve MCH indicators vary from country to country depending on the differing threats faced by the population. In order to achieve the sustainable development goals that are applicable to MCH, and improve the status of MCH worldwide, it is critical that there is an equitable access to quality healthcare for all women, healthcare services are integrated for mothers, new-borns, children and adolescents, monitoring and surveillance of MCH indicators is effective, and innovative strategies are pursued.
This issue of the PHIN Newsletter coincides with the final EHESP MPH M1 module, MCH, which was coordinated by Dr Cheri Pies. It includes articles on various topics to provide the reader with a glimpse of some of the complex issues that are raised as part of the MCH discourse. In addition to that, the reader can get a general overview of recent public health news from around the world, get some insight from current students, faculty and MPH professionals. This issue also represents the first time that the PHIN Newsletter has been published as a full PDF document as opposed to blog posts on the website. This change was pursued by the editor for this issue in the hopes that it will provide readers with a better overall experience of the issue.
Thanks are extended to all the contributors for their hard work, the interviewees for accepting to be interviewed for this issue, Jenna Binion for assisting in the editing of the document, and to you the readers for deciding to read the issue.