New WHO perinatal audit tool in Russian is launched in Uzbekistan


Despite considerable progress made in improving maternal, perinatal and newborn health in the WHO European Region, big difference still exists among countries in the rate of stillbirths (from 2 to 16 fetal deaths per 1000 births) and the neonatal mortality (from less than 1 to 15 neonatal deaths per 1000 live births). Majority of stillbirths and 75% of newborn deaths are preventable, but without knowing the true causes of death, countries are not able to adequately improve the quality of care.  

The WHO meeting “Perinatal audit as a tool in improving perinatal health care” took place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 20 - 21 October 2016. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, the Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan were represented based on their earlier request for the WHO assistance in this area of work.

The meeting was opened by Dr Asilbek Khudayarov, the First Deputy Minister of Health of Uzbekistan. His welcome speech emphasized the importance of “healthy mother – healthy child” activities for Uzbekistan and other countries, as well as the fruitful collaboration of the national institutions with the UN organizations and other partners.

Each country delegation presented their achievements as well as concerns in the area of perinatal health and discussed them with experts and other participants.  

WHO publication “Making every baby count: audit and review of stillbirths and neonatal deaths” in Russian was launched and further ways how to use perinatal audit in improving maternal and newborn health care regionally and in countries were discussed.  Introduction of perinatal audit requires further improvement of application of the International Classification of Diseases to deaths during the perinatal period. WHO has developed a tool that will help countries with this task.  WHO Collaborating Center for Research and Training on Maternal and Newborn Health in the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research in Human Reproduction in the Research Centre of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology Russian Academy of Medical Sciences shared their experience and expressed their readiness to assist countries in implementation of the presented tools.

The plans to improve perinatal health in the represented countries were drafted and discussed.  Countries plan to use the lessons learnt during introduction of the maternal mortality and morbidity analysis for the more detailed research of the causes of stillbirths and newborn deaths. Several partners (UNFPA, UNICEF, USAID, Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), KfW Development bank) supporting maternal and child health improvement in the countries of central Asia announced their support in further implementation of the perinatal audit and other activities in improving perinatal health.

Life-course approach to health and well-being starts with preconception, pregnancy and the newborn period. Every opportunity should be used to ensure that mortality and severe morbidity are prevented. The new approach will help countries to strategize their actions and become the next step in achieving the vision of the recently approved “Action plan for sexual and reproductive health: towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable development in Europe – leaving no one behind”.