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Oxford textbook

Oxford Textbook of Global Health Newborns, Children, and Adolescents

Editors: Delan Devakumar, Jennifer Hall, Zeshan Qureshi, Joy Lawn

Edited by Delan Devakumar, Jennifer Hall, Zeshan Qureshi, and Joy Lawn

Cover art by Joanna Lawn

Each year there are 10 million deaths among newborns (including stillbirths), children, and adolescents, as well as from maternal causes. These deaths are mostly preventable with existing interventions – a major injustice in today’s world. The vast majority happen in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, yet the dangers facing women and children are relevant everywhere. While middle- and high-income countries have lower mortality rates overall, there are still major inequalities in outcomes within these countries. To improve health outcomes for women and children around the world, more data on the burden of disease and evidence of intervention effectiveness are crucial.

The Oxford Textbook of Global Health of Women, Newborns, Children, and Adolescents is the first comprehensive book on this topic. Written by experts in the field, this invaluable source takes a lifecourse approach to health. Following women from adolescence to motherhood, it covers sexual and reproductive health, HIV, pregnancy, mental health, and much more. Child development is traced from conception through to pregnancy, the newborn period, and into childhood and adolescence, with topics including newborn care, nutrition, infections, and injuries. This comprehensive resource asks uncomfortable but necessary questions about the determinants of health, such as maltreatment, injury, and malnutrition, and looks at how to influence policy and inspire change.

Divided into eight sections and following the lifecourse, the Oxford Textbook of Global Health of Women, Newborns, Children, and Adolescents has a clear structure, helpful illustrations, and study questions in each chapter. Easy to use, it is the ideal textbook for students and practitioners in health care or global health. Looking to the future, it is also an invaluable starting point for policymakers and anyone with a general interest in the subject area. With practical case studies and examples from high and low-resource settings, this book is a unique resource for those involved in women’s and children’s health everywhere.

Key Features

  • Addresses maternal and child health in their own right, and how they affect each other

  • Contains descriptions of the main challenges and explanations of the key theories in the field

  • A comprehensive study of the cycle of life

  • Has a clear structure, helpful illustrations, and study questions at the end of each chapter

This textbook is an invaluable introduction to the principles and practice of global women’s, newborns’, children’s, and adolescents’ health. It will help new students to be excited and challenged, to learn about the causes of ill health, and also the causes of the causes, and to become ever vigilant in health innovation, research, and advocacy.

It is hoped that the book will help create a new generation of professionals and advocates who see the early years of life as pivotal to adult health, and to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Anthony Costello

Former Director of Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health at the World Health Organization.
Professor of Global Health and Sustainable Development, University College London

Table of Contents



  1. Women’s and children’s health in a changing world, Mike Rowson

  2. Strategies through the lifecycle to improve maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health, Joy Lawn, Samantha Sadoo

  3. Agencies and actors in women’s and children’s health, Mike Rowson


Research Methods
  1. Research Methods and Evidence Based Medicine, Tim Colbourn

  2. Economic evaluation in global health, Catherine Pitt, Josephine Borghi, Kara Hanson


Important Concepts Across the Life Course
  1. Social determinants of child health, Bernadette O’Hare, Sebastian Taylor

  2. Developmental origins of health and disease, Caroline Fall, Kalyanaraman Kumaran

  3. Health Workers and Health Systems, Kate Mandeville, Ingrid Wolfe

  4. The environment and health, Nicholas Watts

  5. Conflict, Natural Disaster and the Humanitarian Response, Miriam Orcutt, Clare Shortall, Aula Abarra


Adolescent Health
  1. Introduction to Adolescent health, Susan Sawyer, Suraya Abdul-Razak, George Patton

  2. Adolescent sexual and reproductive health, Saiqa Mullick

  3. Adolescent Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), Jackie Pitchforth, Dougal Hargreaves

  4. Adolescent mental health, Kelly Clarke, Silvia Shikanai Yasuda, Atif Rahman

  5. Adolescent HIV and infection, Rashida Ferrand

  6. Adolescent Injuries, Qingfeng Li, Adnan Hyder

  7. Strategies to improve adolescent health, Samantha Sadoo, David Ross


Women's Health
  1. Introduction to Maternal Health, Address Malata

  2. Sexual and reproductive health, Mags Beksinska, Jenni Smit, Chelsea Morroni, Lavanya Pillay

  3. Contraception and abortion, Jennifer Hall

  4. Direct maternal Deaths, Abi Merriel, Raymond Kanthit, David Lissauer

  5. Indirect maternal deaths, Heather Lytle, Beatrice Chikaphonya-Phiri, Abi Merriel

  6. Maternal morbidity, Nynke van de Broek, Mary McCauley

  7. Maternal nutrition, Delan Devakumar, Patricia Rondo

  8. Maternal mental health, Rob Stewart, Selena Gleadow-Ware

  9. Strategies to improve maternal health, Address Malata


Newborn Health
  1. Introduction to newborn health, Samantha Sadoo, Hannah Blencowe, Shefali Oza, Joy Lawn

  2. Stillbirth, Hannah Blencowe, Samantha Sadoo, Joy Lawn

  3. Preterm births, Sarah Moxon, Samantha Sadoo , Tom Lissauer

  4. Intrapartum related events affecting the newborn, Anne CC Lee, Saima Aftab, Lian Folger, Lauren Schaeffer

  5. Neonatal Infection, Anna Seale, Helen Brotherton

  6. Congenital disorders, Sowmi Moorthie

  7. Low Birth weight and poor fetal growth, Gabriela Cormick, Nicole Minckas, Jose Belizan

  8. Strategies to improve newborn health and prevent stillbirths, Samantha Sadoo, Hannah Blencowe, Joy Lawn, Cally Tann


Child Health
  1. Introduction to child health, Dan Magnus, Sebastian Taylor, Bhanu Williams

  2. Child infection, Mark Lee, Bhanu Williams, Anupam Goenka

  3. Child nutrition, Marly Cardoso, Jonathan Wells

  4. Child development and disability, Richard Rosch, Michelle Heyes, Hannah Kuper

  5. Non-communicable diseases and childhood, Jessica Mvula, Takondwa Chimowa, Elizabeth Molyneux, Bernadette O’Hare

  6. Children in difficult circumstances, Therese Hesketh

  7. Child injury, maltreatment and safeguarding, Geoff Debelle, Qingfeng Li, Delan Devakumar

  8. Strategies to improve child health, Fred Martineau


Influencing Policy
  1. Converting research into policy, Elizabeth Mason, Blerta Maliqi

  2. Ethics and rights, Maureen Kelly

  3. Advocacy in maternal and child health, Delan Devakumar, Tony Waterston

  4. Current challenges and debates for women’s and children’s health, David Osrin

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