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NIHR to fund major new research into prevention and management of stillbirth

14 Jul 2017

£2m funding award from the UK National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) will enable researchers to undertake pioneering research to prevent and better manage stillbirths in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Researchers in the Centre for Global Women’s Health, School of Health Sciences, in partnership with the Lugina Africa Midwives Research Network, have been awarded £2m funding from the UK National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) to undertake pioneering research to prevent and better manage stillbirths in sub-Saharan Africa.

The research, led by Professor of Midwifery, Dame Tina Lavender, will tackle three key areas:

  1. Prevention of stillbirth through improved identification of women with high risk pregnancies.
  2. Better childbirth care by examining factors which influence how women seek and access care, the quality of the care received and specific causes of stillbirth in local healthcare facilities, using new effective tools.
  3. Ensuring humane and respectful care for bereaved parents through understanding the experiences of women, partners and health workers after stillbirth.

Dame Tina says: "Globally, 2.6 million babies die just before or during birth each year; 98% in low and middle income countries. Most stillbirths are preventable with good quality maternity care but unfortunately progress in preventing stillbirth has been too slow to reach international targets and many women and families still do not receive basic humane care after their baby dies.

"We are passionate about improving healthcare provision in this area and are delighted to be able to conduct this important research that has the chance to improve the care of so many women in Africa and to prevent babies being stillborn".

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