Standards for improving the quality of care for children and young adolescents in health facilities
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) goal 3 targets as elaborated in the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescent’s Health (2016-2030) will require ensuring access to safe, effective, quality and affordable care to women and children. In 2015, WHO made improving the quality of care for women and children a priority for reducing preventable maternal and child deaths. As a pathfinder, WHO initially elaborated a vision in which “Every mother and newborn receives quality care throughout pregnancy, childbirth and early postnatal period”. To operationalize this vision, a framework and standards of care - Standards for improving the quality of maternal and newborn care in health facilities - were published in 2016. This first series of standards of care covered routine care and management of complications during labour, childbirth and the early postnatal period. However, a comprehensive series of standards of care will be published to address the broader vision, in which “every woman, child and adolescent receives quality care throughout the life continuum and levels of care”.
The Standards for improving quality of care for children and young adolescents aged 0–15 years in health facilities is the second series. The paediatric framework and standards are in the best interest of children and take into consideration a child’s right to health while recognizing that their health, physical, psychosocial, developmental and communication needs differ from those of adults.
The standards delineate what is expected in order to respect children’s rights: ensuring child, adolescent and family-friendly health facilities and services; evidence-based clinical care; availability of child and adolescent-specific appropriate equipment; appropriately trained, competent staff. The standards include health facility measures to facilitate implementation, to track improvement and to monitor performance. The standards are based on the eight domains of the framework for improving the quality of care and address the most common conditions that affect children and adolescents in health facilities.