What is MCH?

Maternal and Child Health is the collaborative discipline within public health that uses the tools of all public health disciplines to focus on assuring conditions that allow children and families to be healthy and reach full potential.

Maternal and Child Health focuses on the determinants, mechanisms, policies, and systems that promote and maintain the health, safety, well-being and appropriate development of children and families in communities and societies.

Maternal and Child Health is not just for those who have or are interested in children today; MCH is also about assuring the health and well-being of tomorrow’s children and adults. After more than 75 years, MCH remains focused on the future.

“Sometimes when I get home at night in Washington, I feel as though I had been in a great traffic jam, the jam is moving toward the Hill where Congress sits in judgment on all the administrative agencies of the government. In that traffic jam there are all kinds of vehicles moving up toward the Capitol… There are all of the conveyances that the Army can put in the street… There are the hayricks and the binders and the ploughs and all the other things the Department of Agriculture manages to put into the streets… I stand on the sidewalk watching it become more and more congested and more difficult, and then because the responsibility is mine and I must, I take a very firm hold on the handles of the baby carriage and I wheel it into the traffic.”
-Grace Abbott, Children’s Bureau, 1935





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