2019: THE 30th ANNIVERSARY YEAR OF THE MATERNAL HEALTH GROUP
In 1987, the international Safe Motherhood Initiative was launched by Dr Halfdan Mahler, Director-General of WHO. Last year, the community of actors dedicated to improving the health and survival of pregnant or recently-delivered women marked three decades of efforts, with a vote of appreciation from the now WHO-DG – Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine was one of the first academic institutions to respond to the 1987 Call to Action, creating a new method to estimate the burden of maternal mortality in 1988, and shortly afterwards establishing its first group of maternal health researchers – just three in number. From this modest start, the School’s reputation for research excellence relevant to pregnant or recently-delivered women has grown and evolved – as manifest in the 2016 Lancet Maternal Health Series.
2019 will be the 30th year of the Group and a time to celebrate its contribution, to take-stock of emerging needs and challenges in this research area, and to ensure it can play its role in the decades ahead.
During 2019, a number of activities will mark the anniversary, including a research prioritization exercise and stakeholder consultation, as well as showcasing events – with some involving the Group’s alumni members now working across the world. A core steering group including Prof Oona Campbell, Prof Veronique Filippi, Prof Wendy Graham (chair), Sylvia Marinova, Loveday Penn-Kekana, Lenka Benova, Emma Radovich, Prof Carine Ronsmans, Dr Susannah Woodd is devising and managing the activities, and individuals who would like to register their interest in being involved &/or hearing more of the plans are invited to contact us.
A cluster randomized trial of an mHealth integrated model of hypertension, diabetes and antenatal care in primary care settings in India and Nepal
A team from LSHTM involving Oona Campbell (PI), Pablo Perel, Clara Calvert, John Cairns and Sylvia Marinova in collaboration with the Public Health Foundation of India and regional co-ordinating centres in Delhi and Kathmandu will be involved in a research project using tablet-based electronic decision support systems to enhance antenatal care (ANC). The aim is to address the changing disease burden affecting pregnant women in India and Nepal.
Through our cluster-randomized trial, we will focus on rural pregnant women using public-sector health services in in Telangana (India) and Kathmandu (Nepal), where pregnancy induced hypertension and gestational diabetes are frequent.
The goal is to identify whether the use of such mHealth electronic decision support systems by frontline health workers can improve the adherence to ANC guidelines, and also the screening, detection, management of gestational diabetes and pregnancy induced hypertension. We will also consider the costs of enhanced ANC intervention relative to the value of improved health outcomes.
The project will run from September 2018 to August 2021.
MARCH Centre launches new Report and Strategy 2018-2022
By systematically reviewing MARCH’s current research compared to global burden, they have identified priorities and gaps, setting a vision for the next generation of research and for research leadership across the globe.
At the launch event, Professor Joy Lawn, Director of MARCH Centre and Professor of Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health, launched the report and its core question: If we want to impact the health of women, children and young people in 5-10 years, what shifts in research and education do we need to make now, given the time lag from research idea to policy and practice?
Read the report: “Next Generation: MARCH Centre Report & Strategy 2018-2022“
For more news on MARCH: march.lshtm.ac.uk
The MARCH Centre has unveiled its new logo, designed to be more descriptive of the work of the Centre and give greater insight into their work.
The Centre for Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive, & Child Health (MARCH) is the central hub for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health at The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
New Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for maternal health
Building on and extending the reach of The Lancet Maternal Health Series, a new MOOC starting 25 September 2017 will bring the wealth of learning in the Series to the next generation of maternal health researchers globally. The MOOC, The Lancet Maternal Health Series: Global Research & Evidence is now open for registration. Rooted in the six papers of the Series, the free three-week course will highlight key insights of the Series in a learning format, with additional insights and contextualisation of the Series key messages.
To register for the course, visit bit.ly/FLmaternalhealth
China launch of The Lancet Maternal Health Series confirmed for November 2017
The China launch of The Lancet Maternal Health Series, in collaboration with the China Maternal & Child Health Association (CMCHA) and UNICEF China, will take place in Hainan on 23-24 November 2017 at the 8th China Maternal & Child Health Development Forum. Professors Oona Campbell, Carine Ronsmans and Dorothy Shaw will present key messages from the Series to over 3,000 maternal and child health professionals and senior government representatives attending the CMCHA Annual Meeting. The full Series Report in Mandarin Chinese will be available on the Series website once launched.
RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM: 2017 FAMILY PLANNING SUMMIT SIDE EVENT
Bridging the Gap to FP2020: Evidence to accelerate progress towards meeting the need for family planning
To coincide with the 2017 Family Planning Summit, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine hosted a research symposium to:
- Share the latest evidence on unmet need for family planning,
- Review evidenced-informed programming for addressing unmet need for family planning, and
- Discuss a research agenda aligned to the global architecture for family planning.
The symposium took place on 10 July 2017 at the Institute of Child Health 30 Guilford Street London, WC1N 1EH
Read the full invitation here:Bridging the gap FP2020 INVITATION 10 July 2017
New paper on the contested role of abortion and family planing in post-war South Sudan
A group of researchers from the LSHTM published a new paper offering an ethnographic analysis of public health policies and interventions targeting unwanted pregnancy in South Sudan as part of wider ‘nation-building’ after war. The paper shows how the expansion of post-conflict family planning and abortion policy and services are particularly poignant sites for the enactment of reproductive identity negotiation, policing and conflict. The analysis also shows that these processes are shaped by two powerful institutions – ethnic movements and global humanitarian actors – who tend to take opposing stances on reproductive health.
Read the full paper here: Building the nation’s body: The contested role of abortion and family planning in post-war South Sudan
Wendy Graham received award for maternal health services from Government of Ethiopia
Professor Wendy Graham received a maternal health hero award from the Government of Ethiopia for her work with the E4A (Evidence for Action) project. She was recently appointed as a Professor of Obstetrics Epidemiology at the LSHTM. Read more…
FEMHealth: Burkisa Faso introduces free maternal and child healthcare
The Council of Ministers in Burkina Faso, under the leadership of the President, decided that from the 2nd April 2016, the government will provide free healthcare for children under-five, pregnant women, deliveries and caesareans, and breast and uterine cancer screening. Cause for celebration – but also a reminder of the lessons learned in recent experiences, say the researchers of the FEMHealth project. Read more…
New paper on women’s attitudes around abortion services in Zambia
A group of researchers including staff and students from LSHTM published a paper on women’s knowledge and attitudes surrounding abortion in Zambia. The study highlights the general lack of knowledge around the legal grounds for abortion as well as the conservative attitudes towards abortion services. Findings show that women considering terminating a pregnancy who are unaware of the legal framework are much less likely to approach a trained health provider, and may instead seek an unsafe abortion.
Read the paper here: Women’s knowledge and attitudes surrounding abortion in Zambia
A publication from ground breaking cohort study in Burkina Faso
Dr Veronique Filippi, Dr Clara Calvert, and Dr Katerini Storeng published an article on long term consequences of emergency caesarean section on women’s health and lives in Burkina Faso. In particular, the study outlines higher risk of debts, sexual violence, reduced or “sub-fertility” and divorce four years after the event. Moreover, there are indications that women suffered psychological distress in the short and medium term.
The paper can be found here: After surgery: the effects of life-saving caesarean sections in Burkina Faso