The objective was to perform a systematic review of indicators for the central phases of the maternal and child healthcare continuum of care (pregnancy, childbirth, newborn care and postpartum). Findings suggest that there is a broad choice of indicators for maternal and child healthcare. However, most indicators lack demonstrated scientific soundness and refer to particular continuum phases and levels within the healthcare system. Additional efforts are needed to identify good indicators for a comprehensive maternal and child healthcare monitoring system.


  1. World Health Organization. World health report 2005: make every mother and child count. Geneva: World health; 2005.

  2. Kerber KJ, de Graft-Johnson JE, Bhutta ZA, Okong P, Starrs A, Lawn JE. Continuum of care for maternal, newborn, and child health: from slogan to service delivery. Lancet. 2007;370(9595):1358–69.

  3. Graham WJ, Varghese B. Quality, quality, quality: gaps in the continuum of care. Lancet. 2012;379(9811).


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