Leveraging SSC to scale-up work on maternal and child health


The Community of Practice on South-South Cooperation for Children (CoP-SSC4C), a joint initiative by UNICEF, IPC-IG and the UNOSSC, hosted a global webinar on October 10, 2019 at 8 a.m. (EST). The topic was on using South-South cooperation to share and scale-up achievements and good practices in maternal and child health. 

Right to life is a fundamental human right and reducing maternal and child deaths is at the heart of SDG 3 on good health and well-being. Although progress has been made, achieving the SDG targets remains a major international challenge. WHO reports that every year, 300,000 women die due to preventable causes of death during pregnancy. In 2017, the global estimate is 211 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, about 295,000 maternal death. Under-five mortality rate (U5MR) is 39 per thousand live births in 2018, translating into 5.3 million deaths, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. 

In order to reach the SDG target of reducing U5MR to 25 per thousand live births and the ambitious goals of SDG 3,  it is necessary for national leaders and practitioners to commit to and collectively achieve universal health coverage; to collect quality data on births, deaths, causes of death; and to increase coverage of life-saving interventions. 

Progress has been made! U5MR has been reduced by 49 percent, from 76 per thousand live births in 2000 to 39 in 2018. Some countries achieved significant success, for example, China’s U5MR dropped by 85 per cent, from 61 per thousand live births in 1991 to 9 per thousand live births in 2017. Many countries have achieved Universal Health Coverage and addressed severe malnutrition.

In the process of achieving success, countries have generated knowledge, expertise and technical capacity which they are actively sharing through South-South cooperation. These countries, in the spirit of solidarity and South-South cooperation, are partnering with developing countries to share knowledge, build local capacities and allocate resources.

This webinar provided a platform to bring countries and practitioners together to share and learn ways that South-South cooperation can be leveraged to reduce maternal and child mortality levels in order to achieve the SDG 3 targets. It showcased examples of countries’ experiences in using South-South cooperation and partnerships to share their knowledge, experiences and technical expertise for the purpose of building capacities in partner countries in the global South in the areas of maternal and child health and nutrition.


Dr. Cao Yingjie, IHECC, Dr. Lily Wang, International Cooperation, Hunan Children's Hospital, China

Ms. Yasmin Wakimoto, Mr. Bruno Magalhães, WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger, Brazil

Dr. Alyssa Sharkey, Senior Health Specialist, Health section, UNICEF NYHQ


Dr. Kunihiko Chris Hirabayashi, Regional Adviser, Health and HIV, East Asia and Pacific Regional Office, UNICEF


This webinar was the fifth of the CoP-SSC4C Webinar Series, which was organised by UNICEF, IPC-IG and UNOSSC. Please join the Community of Practice on SSC for Children (CoP-SSC4C) if you are interested in following the most recent discussions on the topic.