Activities to improve maternal and child health, 2012

Regional activities

WHO/Europe has developed an assessment tool, based on international standards, that covers the main clinical aspects of care. It helps countries identify areas requiring improvement.

In November 2012 at a meeting in Moscow, Russian Federation, WHO guidelines and recommendations were presented and the assessment tool was finalized. Staff of the Ministry of Health of Armenia, stakeholders, experts from European countries and representatives from WHO/Europe attended.

Country focus

To start the project supported by WHO/Europe and the Russian Federation, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan were selected to pilot-test the assessment tool.


  • Elements of the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) strategy were integrated into the WHO assessment tool.
  • In November 2012, the quality of antenatal, postpartum and newborn care in primary health facilities was assessed. The report provided a basis for benchmarking levels and appraising achievements; it included recommendations to the Ministry of Health of Armenia on areas for improvement. Progress in implementing these recommendations was assessed in November 2013, and the findings presented to the Ministry.


  • In March 2012, Kyrgyzstan became the first country to pilot-test the WHO tool to assess the quality of care provided during pregnancy and after childbirth. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Kyrgyzstan – in collaboration with WHO, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other partners – assisted the Ministry of Health of Kyrgyzstan in this work.
  • The assessment resulted in clear recommendations on further steps to improve maternal and newborn health. For example, the review of medical documentation for antenatal and postpartum care, in line with international standards, started in 2012. The training of trainers in the use of the recently updated antenatal and postpartum care standards and medical documentation was carried out in April 2013.
  • Progress in implementing the recommendations was assessed in late 2013, and the findings presented to the Ministry of Health.