While the rate of skilled care during childbirth has increased from 58% in 1990 to 73% in 2013, mostly due to increases in facility-based births, giving birth in a health facility does not equate with a safe birth. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 303,000 mothers and 2.7 million newborn infants die annually around the time of childbirth, and many more are affected by preventable illness.
WHO and UNICEF are launching a Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (Quality of Care Network).
The vision of the Quality of Care Network is that every pregnant woman, newborn and child receives good quality care in health services, with the ambitious goal to halve maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths in health facilities within five years in the participating countries.
The Quality of Care Network is underpinned by the values of quality, equity and dignity. It will look at quality of care both in the way it is delivered by health workers, and experienced by patients.