WHO Essential Newborn Care Course

A course by WHO for ensuring all newborns reach their full potential


Essential Newborn Care is a course by WHO that aims to build competencies in newborn care, nurturing care, and promoting healthy growth and development. The second edition, published in 2023, supports better learning and quality of care by:

Transforming standards into care

  • Incorporating guidance from recent WHO recommendations
  • Addressing global gaps in care
  • Including links to key references and resources

Applying contemporary educational methods

  • Active learning and skills mastery through simulation and clinical practice
  • Facility-based education to promote inter-professional engagement
  • Flexible content to meet learning needs
  • Flexible format, both print and digital
  • Flexible learning agenda and timeline – concentrated or distributed over time
  • Videos to model interventions and behaviours

Adding quality improvement

  • Clinical practice with newborns
  • Quality improvement template to identify gaps and solutions
  • Use of local data to check for improvement
  • Focus on sustained improvement

Learning materials

The ENCC is made up of three flexible components that allow organizers and facilitators to select the content that participants needs and adapt the timeline for educational activities in the health facility.

  • ENC 1

    Immediate Care and Helping Babies Breathe at Births. ENC 1 focuses on the first 60 minutes of life. Created in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics, as an update of the course Helping Babies Breathe.

  • ENC 2

    Assessment and Continue Care. ENC2 focuses on the care from 60-90 minutes of life, to discharge from the facility and first month of the baby. This course was created in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics, as an updated and combined version of Essential Care for Every Baby (ECEB) and Essential Care for Small Babies (ECSB)

  • Modules

    14 in-depth modules cover important steps of care through:

    • Interactive slide sets with notes to guide active learning.
    • Demonstrations and hands-on practice, simulations, questions and discussion, videos for examination of the evidence behind recommendations
    • Observation of clinical practice to build skills and observe routine care in the facility
    • Quality improvement activities to identify gaps in care and prioritize improvement aims.

    The modules will soon be available on the WHO website.