As the World Health Organization’s Executive Board discusses maternal, newborn and child health in Geneva this week, the International Pharmaceutical Federation’s Community Pharmacy Section is launching a series of four free webinars to support pharmacists’ efforts in maternal, newborn and child health.
The first webinar, which takes place on 18 February 2015 at 11am CET, will give a background to maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) in the context of the United Nations’ Millenium Development Goals, but particularly in terms of delivering the post-2015 agenda.
Although the Millenium Development Goals galvanised unprecedented efforts to improve MNCH — as was heard in Geneva this week — progress has been uneven. The decline in the rate of newborn mortality, for example, has been much slower than the decline in child and maternal mortality.
The second and third webinars focus on health during pregnancy, birth, the postnatal period and infancy. They cover topics ranging from mother-to-child disease transmission and vitamins and nutritional supplements to sepsis at birth, immunisation and breastfeeding.
“Decreases in morbidity and mortality have been noteworthy but fall well short of the 2015 targets,” says Jaime Acosta Gómez, FIP CPS executive committee member leading the project.
“Community pharmacists are well positioned as promoters, facilitators and implementers of good MNCH since pregnant women, babies and children are in daily contact with them.
“The CPS believes that pharmacists could contribute even further if they are empowered to work within the full scope of pharmacy services appropriate in their country.
“In some countries, for instance, pharmacists are providing essential vaccinations for children.”
Each of the four webinars will be presented by a different expert and pharmacists can choose to attend any or all four, gaining a certificate for each on successful completion of a post-webinar test. To benefit fully, however, the CPS recommends that participants complete the whole series. The webinars are open to all pharmacists. (Registration is at http://fip.org/Webinar_MNCH)
“MNCH is a pressing global health issue that has the potential to affect many generations into the future,” Mr Acosta Gómez says.
“We see an important role for community pharmacy in helping to improve MNCH, and we are sure this series of webinars will help pharmacists to better do this in their communities.”