1. Section Editor(s): Callister, Lynn Clark PhD, RN, FAAN

Article Content

This MCN special topics series on global health is timely with the recent implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Health is the core dimension of the SDGs. Goal Three aims to ensure healthy lives and the promotion of wellbeing for all (Lim et al., 2016). As noted by Gennaro and associates, the SDGs include targets that may be challenging to meet related to the health of neonates and children, particularly in regions of the world where humanitarian crises are all too common. They emphasize importance of considering social determinants of health that exert a considerable influence on the health and wellbeing of vulnerable neonates and children.


Focusing on a significant preventive measure to reduce infectious diseases and promote health, Macintosh et al. provide a synthesis of current knowledge about immunizations worldwide. They share data on both the enablers and critical barriers to immunization administration around the world. The importance of listening to the voices of childbearing women as critical qualitative data increasing our understanding of culturally diverse women is highlighted in this issue. Women's wisdom represents a significant source of expert knowledge for nurses (Corbett & Callister, 2012).


Decades ago a compelling question was posed, "Where is the 'M' in Maternal/Child Health?" (Rosenfield & Maine, 1985, p. 83) and echoed as a clarion call in 2015 to "put the M back in MCH" (Lu, Highsmith, de la Cruz, & Atrash, 2015, p. 1435). Two articles focus on qualitative data focusing on listening to childbearing women and highlighting the "M" in maternal child health. Saito and Lyndon provide important perspectives on use of traditional birth practices in foreign-born Chinese women living in the United States, which should be helpful to clinicians in increasing their cultural competence. Reed and associates share their analysis of richly descriptive data on Tongan women living in areas of the world giving birth in disparate healthcare delivery systems: Tonga and the United States. They remind us that respecting and facilitating traditional birth practices within the framework of Western healthcare is essential for maternal/child nurses.


In your clinical practice as you have the opportunity to care for culturally diverse childbearing women and their families, including immigrants and refugees, take the time to ask them about traditional practices and the meaning of giving birth in their cultures. It will enrich your personal and professional life and help you to become a more culturally competent nurse. This sampling of global clinical interventions, current nursing research findings, and updated clinical guidelines should prove helpful in a world where nurses care for diverse women and children from around the world.




Corbett C. A., Callister L. C. (2012). Giving birth: The voices of women in Tamil Nadu, India. MCN. The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, 37(5), 298-305. doi:10.1097/NMC.0b013e318252ba4d [Context Link]


Lim S. S., Allen K., Bhutta Z. A., Dandona L., Forouzanfar M. H., Fullman N., ..., Murray C. J. L. (2016). Measuring the health-related Sustainable Development Goals in 188 countries: A baseline analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. Lancet, 388(10053). 1813-1850. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31467-2 [Context Link]


Lu M. C., Highsmith K., de la Cruz D., Atrash H. K. (2015). Putting the "M" back in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau: Reducing maternal mortality and morbidity. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 19(7), 1435-1439. doi:10.1007/s10995-015-1665-6 [Context Link]


Rosenfield A., Maine D. (1985). Maternal mortality-a neglected tragedy. Where is the M in MCH. Lancet, 2(8446). 83-85. [Context Link]