Skip to 0 minutes and 14 secondsTANYA MARCHANT: Hello. My name is Tanya Marchant. Welcome to our course, Improving the Health of Women, Children,

Skip to 0 minutes and 20 secondsand Adolescents: From Evidence to Action, delivered by the MARCH Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. On this course, we're going to be looking at health from birth through to adulthood, examining the priority indicators at each stage, and then looking at the evidence about what causes poor health outcomes and how best to prevent them. In the first week, we'll start with the health of the adolescent and present ways in which recent demographic and epidemiological transitions have made adolescent health a global health priority. Then in week 2, experts will focus on reproductive health and summarise the evidence for making every birth wanted.

Skip to 1 minute and 7 secondsIn week 3, we return to our life cycle focus and look at current issues in maternal health, particularly at the interventions and priority social and equity issues that can improve maternal health outcomes. In week 4, we turn to the health of the newborn and put the most recent estimates of neonatal mortality into the context of global targets for survival. And then to complete our life cycle structure, in week 5, we'll look at successes in child survival over the last 15 years and reflect on what more needs to be done to accelerate progress.

Skip to 1 minute and 50 secondsIn the final week of our course, we will reflect on the importance of life cycle thinking for health and put global targets, for example, the Sustainable Development Goals launched in 2015 into the context of women, children's, and adolescents' health overall. We hope that you enjoy participating with others on the course and that you find the learning useful.

Welcome to the course

Welcome to our course, Improving the Health of Women, Children and Adolescents: from Evidence to Action. I’m Dr Tanya Marchant, Lead Educator for the course and Deputy Director of the Centre for Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH) at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

About the course

The course will last for six weeks, with the first five covering adolescent, reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. The sixth and final week takes a step back from the detail of the individual and highlights policies and global targets for health. Altogether this is an exceptionally broad topic and we cannot cover everything! However, each week is led by a different member of staff and will focus on some of the most important issues and topics relating to that Week’s focus. During the course you will:

  • Learn about health across the lifecycle from newborn to child to adolescents and women in areas of the world where the burden of disease is highest
  • Understand how different stages of the lifecycle affect each other
  • Examine the evidence on what causes poor health outcomes and what is known about how to prevent them.

Moving from Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a set of eight international goals established in 2000 by the United Nations (UN). The goals are broken down into time-bound, quantifiable targets and indicators, and broadly address issues such as poverty, education, hunger and disease. Two goals specifically address maternal and child health: MDG 4 (reduce child mortality) and MDG 5 (improve maternal health). All UN member states and a number of global organisations committed to help achieve these goals by 2015.

Globally, we have made significant advances in achieving many of the goals, with incomes increasing, the numbers of people in poverty falling, and life expectancy rising, but this progress has been uneven. Significant disparities remain within and between high-, middle- and low-income countries, particularly in health.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a new set of goals, targets and indicators that build on the achievements of the MDG era and relate to future international development. The SDGs are broader in scope and as with the MDGs are time-bound, being agreed upon in September 2015, becoming applicable in 2016, and ending in 2030.

Both the MDGs and SDGs will be referenced throughout the course, and we will consider the SDGs in detail in our final week, where we focus on how the health of women, children and adolescents fits into the global agenda.

We very much look forward to learning with you and hope you find the course valuable.

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Improving the Health of Women, Children and Adolescents: from Evidence to Action

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine