The Ministry of Health and Welfare presented Taiwan’s experiences and achievements in continuous promotion of empirically based measures on maternal and child health through the collaboration between the industry, .....

  • Data Source:Ministry of Health and Welfare
  • Created:2014-05-24
  • Last Updated:2017-02-03

The Ministry of Health and Welfare presented Taiwan’s experiences and achievements in continuous promotion of empirically based measures on maternal and child health through the collaboration between the industry, government and academia at the 67th World Health Assembly 


The 67th World Health Assemble (WHA) took place between May 19 and May 24, 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) shared Taiwan’s experience related to the topic “Every Newborn: An Action Plan to End Preventable Deaths” proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund of the technical themes discussed by Committee A of the WHA. The HPA offered constructive suggestions with regard to the provision of continuous and holistic healthcare starting from the reproductive, maternal, and newborn phases to the childhood phase. Taiwan’s past experiences on the action plan to promote maternal and child health were as follows: 

Promotion of full-course holistic healthcare for women and children using a life course approach. 
Dr. Shu-Ti Chiou, Director-General of the HPA, said that maternal and child health is the most important issue in public health, and our government has attached much importance to the promotion of women’s and children’s holistic health. Therefore, with continuous efforts in the past years, the maternal mortality rate dropped from 40 deaths per 100,000 population (1970’s) to 8.5 deaths per 100,000 population (2012). The infant mortality rate dropped from 15-16 deaths per 1,000 live births (4.2 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011) to 3.7 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2012, owing to the significant improvement on women’s and children’s health. 

Dr. Shu-Ti Chiou, Director-General of the HPA further indicated that our current healthcare policies are in accordance with the action plans to prevent newborn deaths proposed by the WHO. In order to safeguard the health of the newborns, it is essential to provide continuous holistic healthcare starting from the reproductive, maternal, and newborn phases to the childhood phase. Our current policies have been designed in response to the healthcare needs of the new-generation pregnant women to provide reassuring service measures encompassing wedding, healthy pregnancy and care-free delivery. The newborn caring schedule is extended backwards by providing the newly-weds with health consultation and brochure, and the Baby-bearing Stork Program of the Ministry of Health and Welfare is combined with the planning of the Pregnancy Registry; high-risk pregnancy and newborns are classified and managed; and health-caring and follow-up services are provided for high-risk population via the proactive notification program for low birth-weight and premature infants to continue promoting and enhancing the health of the newborns. 

To reduce two major causes of infant death (congenital malformations and premature birth-related deaths accounted for approximately 1?), our government has established and provided a high-quality fertility and healthcare environment, with overall ten-time usage of prenatal care reaching 95%. A comprehensive subsidiary program has been established for screening type B Streptococcal bacteria in pregnant women in conjunction with an antibiotic treatment program for a positive screening test result to effectively reduce the early infection, hospital stay, injuries or death in newborn infants. In addition, uninsured new inhabitants are entitled to subsidized prenatal care. Collaboration with local health bureaus has been in place for training translators and promoting proper management on health cards of the new inhabitants and their children, thereby providing the new inhabitant families with information and instruction on fertility, healthcare and education. A national toll-free consultation hotline (0800-870-870) and website for the pregnant women have been set up by well-trained healthcare professionals to provide preconceptional, prenatal and postnatal counseling on parent-child health, breastfeeding, physical and mental health support, as well as nutritional consultation, bodyweight management and referral services. 

Continuing with empirical and international approaches to promote the “Healthy New Generation Project” with holistic person and course as the core elements. 
In order to continue to promote maternal and child health and shortening inequality in health, our government will continue its efforts on proactively reviewing and promoting key strategies to reduce infant mortality rates and enhance maternal and child health based on empirical evidences and international experiences. The execution of the Healthy New Generation Project is currently underway, which includes providing the newly-weds with health brochures; reinforcing educational programs on mineral nutrition (e.g. iron and iodine) and folate consumption by pregnant women; enhancing quality of prenatal care; combing social welfare, medical and health professionals, and inter-departmental resources to initiate programs on pregnancy registry, risk classification and management; and initiating holistic health follow-ups and caring programs on high-risk prenatal pregnancy and newborns to continue safeguarding women’s and children’s health. In view of the importance of obtaining funding for improving maternal and child health care, the HPA issued a statement in the WHA, suggesting that the Assembly develops and provides its member nations with strategic advices for obtaining funding in order to effectively promote programs related to the promotion of women’s and children’s health.