Protect the Progress

Sep 01, 2020



Sleeping baby against a dark background

At the start of 2020, more children lived to see their first birthday than at any time in history. Child mortality had fallen by 50% since 2000.

But the progress did not reach every woman, nor every child. The gains have proven fragile and the future is now uncertain. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated persistent inequities while also creating new ones. Conflicts, migration, climate instability and ecological degradation are introducing new dangers.

The data indicate the crucial areas for concerted action, as outlined in the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health Call to Action on COVID-19:

• Ensuring access to information, health services and life-saving supplies for women, children and


• Promoting sexual and reproductive rights and gender equality;

• Guaranteeing quality, respectful and dignified health care;

• Providing training, equal and fair pay and safe working conditions for health workers, notably

midwives and nurses;

• Ensuring social protection, including food and nutrition, for marginalized and vulnerable groups;

• Improving access to safe and clean water, toilets and handwashing facilities; and

• Preventing violence against women, children and adolescents.


Read the report summary

Visit the report website