This analysis indicates that Covid-19 had an important negative impact on postnatal women's mental health and may have accelerated an existing trend of increasing prevalence of postnatal depression. Risk factors for postnatal depression were consistent before and during the pandemic. Timely identification, intervention and follow-up are key to supporting women at risk, and it is essential that mechanisms to support women are strengthened during times of heightened risk such as the pandemic.

23rd May 2023 • comment

The study aimed to determine the factors associated with the receipt of adequate ANC among pregnant women in Rwanda. Findings suggest that the prevalence of women who receive adequate ANC remains low in Rwanda. Effective interventions to increase access and utilization of adequate ANC are urgently needed to further improve the country's maternal and child health outcomes. 

10th May 2023 • comment

The aim of this study was to assess the proportions of women who reported being asked about their mental health during the perinatal period across consecutive national maternity surveys (NMS) in England and to evaluate sociodemographic disparities in who was asked. Despite the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommendations, many women are still not asked about their mental health during the perinatal period, particularly after giving birth. Women from ethnic minority backgrounds are less likely to be asked and these disparities have persisted over time.

10th May 2023 • comment

The objective of the study was to assess the relationship between allostatic load, a measure of cumulative chronic stress in early pregnancy and cardiovascular disease risk, 2-7 years postpartum, and pathways contributing to racial disparities in cardiovascular disease risk. Findings suggest that high allostatic load during pregnancy is associated with cardiovascular disease risk. The relationships between stress, subsequent cardiovascular risk and race warrant further study.

10th May 2023 • comment

This study used a descriptive qualitative design to obtain thick and rich data on disrespect and abuse in maternity care in a low-resource setting in Tanzania. The actions of disrespect and abuse are alarming in practice and are associated with ignorance of fundamental human rights by both providers and recipients of services. Conducting workshops seems a useful approach to revealing disrespect and abuse deep-rooted in practice and provides an opportunity to rectify the problem with providers. A more extensive interventional study will be crucial to address the widespread actions of disrespect and abuse.

14th April 2023 • comment

This study explores the lived experiences and the most important aspects of person-centred care for Canadian families experiencing a pregnancy after a stillbirth. Participants' responses identified that pregnancy after stillbirth is an extremely stressful time requiring patient-oriented care and support, both physically and psychologically. Families were able to articulate specific areas that would have improved the experience of their subsequent pregnancy. Parents asked for high-quality clinical and psychosocial prenatal care that was specific to them having experienced a prior stillbirth. They also requested connections to others experiencing this similar scenario. Further research is needed to delineate what supports and resources would be needed to ensure this care would be available to all families experiencing pregnancy after stillbirth across Canada and their caregivers.

14th April 2023 • comment

In this study, the authors aimed to describe the maternal health policy environment and examines its relationship with maternal health service utilization in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Findings suggest that despite the availability of supportive structures and free maternity service access policies, there is a dire need for stronger policy support for clinical guidelines and practice regulations, as well as national reporting and review systems for maternal health. A more favorable policy environment for maternal health can improve adoption of evidence-based interventions and increase utilization of maternal health services in LMICs.

28th March 2023 • comment

The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between being a Bolsa Família program (BFP) beneficiary and maternal mortality and to examine how this association differs by duration of BFP receipt, maternal race, living in rural or urban areas, the Municipal Human Development Index (MHDI), and municipal primary health care coverage. This cross-sectional analysis nested within the 100 Million Brazilian Cohort found an association between BFP receipt and maternal mortality. This association was of greater magnitude in women with longer exposure to BFP and in the most vulnerable groups. These findings reinforce evidence that programs such as BFP, which have already proven effective in poverty reduction, have great potential to improve maternal survival.

28th March 2023 • comment

The authors aimed to estimate the health and financial risk protection benefits across different wealth groups in Nigeria if a policy of public financing of MNCH interventions were to be introduced. Findings suggest that public financing of essential MNCH interventions in Nigeria would provide substantial health and financial risk protection benefits to Nigerian households. These benefits would accrue preferentially to the poorest quintiles and would contribute towards reduction of health and socioeconomic inequalities in Nigeria. The distribution would be more pro-poor if public financing of MNCH interventions could target poor households.

28th March 2023 • comment

This study aims to assess whether the characteristics, management and outcomes of women varied between Syrian and Palestinian refugees, migrant women of other nationalities and Lebanese women giving birth at a public tertiary centre in Beirut, Lebanon. Findings suggest that Syrian refugees in Lebanon had similar obstetric outcomes compared to the host population, except for very preterm birth. However, Palestinian women and migrant women of other nationalities appeared to have worse pregnancy complications than the Lebanese women. There should be better healthcare access and support for migrant populations to avoid severe complications of pregnancy.

14th March 2023 • comment

The magnitude of preeclampsia-eclampsia and maternal-fetal and neonatal outcomes of early and late onset preeclampsia are not adequately investigated in resource-limited settings. This study sought to examine the clinical presentation and maternal-fetal and neonatal outcome of these two entities of the disease in Ayder comprehensive specialized hospital, an academic setting in Tigray, Ethiopia, from January 1, 2015-December 31, 2021. The present study highlights the clinical differences between early versus late onset preeclampsia. Women with early-onset disease are at increased levels of unfavorable maternal outcomes. Perinatal morbidity and mortality were also increased significantly in women with early onset disease. Therefore, gestational age at the onset of the disease should be taken as an important indicator of the severity of the disease with unfavorable maternal, fetal, and neonatal outcomes.

14th March 2023 • comment

The objective of this study was to examine the capacity and quality of maternal and child health (MCH) services at the subnational primary healthcare (PHC) level in 12 low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) and its association with intermediate health outputs such as coverage and access to care. The results of this analysis illustrate the heterogeneity in the capacity and quality of PHC service delivery within LMICs. Countries seeking to strengthen their PHC systems could improve PHC monitoring at the subnational level to better understand subnational bottlenecks in service delivery.

15th February 2023 • comment

The objective of this study was to examine the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal substance abuse and neonatal outcomes. Findings suggest that there was a significant increase in maternal fentanyl use during the pandemic, even with OMT enrollment, with an increase in preterm births and lower birth weights among infants born to mothers with substance use. 

15th February 2023 • comment

This study explored that the prevalence of good essential newborn care (ENC) practice can be accelerated through women’s empowerment, where skilled antenatal care plays an important mediating role in improving good ENC practice among highly empowered mothers. The study suggests that a woman should follow the latest guidelines recommended by WHO for antenatal care follow-up. Policymakers can modify some of the maternal and child health care interventions based on the research findings.

15th February 2023 • comment

This study evaluated the impact of an intervention that aims to halve maternal mortality caused by primary postpartum haemorrhage within 2 years, nationwide in Niger. Findings suggest that primary postpartum haemorrhage morbidity and mortality declined rapidly nationwide. Because each treatment technology that was used has shown some efficacy when used alone, a strategic combination of these treatments can reasonably attain outcomes of this magnitude. Niger's strategy warrants testing in other low-income and perhaps some middle-income settings.

31st January 2023 • comment

This study was a secondary analysis of data from the Sanitation Hygiene Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) trial, a cluster-randomized community-based trial among pregnant women and their infants, to examine care during institutional and non-institutional deliveries in rural Zimbabwe and associated birth outcomes. Findings indicate that premature onset of labor, rather than maternal choice, may be the reason for many non-institutional deliveries in low-resource settings, initiating a cascade of events resulting in a two-fold higher risk of stillbirth and neonatal mortality amongst children born outside health institutions. Interventions for primary prevention of preterm delivery will be crucial in reducing neonatal mortality in Zimbabwe.

31st January 2023 • comment

The purpose of this study was to examine if a post-partum navigation program decreased all cause 30-day postpartum hospitalizations and hospitalizations due to diagnoses of severe maternal morbidity identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Findings suggest that high-risk medical conditions at time of delivery increase risk for post-partum hospitalization, including hospitalizations due to severe maternal morbidity. A post-partum navigation program designed to identify and resolve clinical and social needs reduced post-partum hospitalizations & racial disparity with hospitalizations. Hospitals and healthcare systems should adopt this type of care model for women at high risk for severe maternal morbidity. Cost analyses are needed to evaluate financial impact of post-partum navigation programs for women at high risk for severe maternal morbidity or mortality which could influence reimbursement for these types of services. Evidence and details of novel postpartum interventional models need to continue to be reported.

31st January 2023 • comment

The aim of this study was to assess effect of quality antenatal care service on maternal use of skilled birth attendant after any antenatal care visit. Findings suggest that maternal use of skilled birth attendant can be improved by providing quality ANC service during subsequent ANC visits. Improving ANC service delivery may encourage or positively reinforce women's and partner's decision to use skilled birth attendant.

17th January 2023 • comment

The main objective of this study was to assess the barriers in the utilization of antenatal care (ANC) services in Kandahar, Afghanistan. This was a cross-sectional analytical study conducted over one year from December 2018-November 2019. Findings suggest that utilization of ANC services is inadequate in Kandahar province. Improving clinic staff professional behavior and status of women by expanding educational opportunities, and enhancing community awareness of the value of ANC are recommended.

6th December 2022 • comment

This study aimed to analyse the association between gender equality and maternal mortality ratio (MMR) globally. Findings suggest that gender equality was significantly associated with maternal mortality. Investing in higher education for women, improving their paid employment opportunities, increasing participation in leadership roles and politics, reducing intimate partner violence (IPV) and ending child marriage can significantly reduce maternal mortality.

5th December 2022 • comment

The study evaluated the benefits of an Australian Nurse Home Visiting (NHV) program ("right@home") in promoting children's language and learning, general and mental health, maternal mental health and wellbeing, parenting and family relationships, at child ages 4 and 5 years. Study findings suggets that an Australian NHV program promoted longer-term family functioning and wellbeing for women experiencing adversity. NHV can offer an important component of a proportionate universal system that delivers support and intervention relative to need.

5th December 2022 • comment

In this study, the authors examined the association between exposure to mass media and maternal health care services utilization among women in sub-Saharan Africa. The study identified a strong positive relationship between mass media exposure and maternal health care services utilization. Specifically, exposure to radio and television were positively associated with ANC visitations. Moreover, exposure to mass media (newspaper/magazine, radio and television) were positively associated with SBA and PNC utilization. Policymakers and other non-governmental organizations should continuously invest resources in the design and implementation of maternal health service utilization educational programs through all the mass media channels to scale up women's maternal health service services utilization uptake in sub-Saharan Africa.

11th October 2022 • comment

The objective of this study was to determine the effect of an intensive nurse home visiting program on a composite outcome of preterm birth, low birth weight, small for gestational age, or perinatal mortality. In this South Carolina–based trial of Medicaid-eligible pregnant individuals, assignment to participate in an intensive nurse home visiting program did not significantly reduce the incidence of a composite of adverse birth outcomes. Evaluation of the overall effectiveness of this program is incomplete, pending assessment of early childhood and birth spacing outcomes.

2nd August 2022 • comment

The objective of this study was to analyse the physical accessibility of emergency neonatal care (EmNeC) services at the national and subnational levels in Ethiopia. Findings suggest that the physical access to EmNeC services in Ethiopia is well below the universal health coverage expectations stated by the United Nations. Increasing the availability of EmNeC to health facilities where routine delivery services currently are taking place would significantly increase physical access. Our results reinforce the need to revise service allocations across administrative regions and consider improving disadvantaged areas in future health service planning.

29th June 2022 • comment

The authors studied the association between asthma and perinatal mental illness and explored the modifying effects of social and medical complexities. Findings suggest that women with asthma predating pregnancy are at slightly increased risk of mental illness in pregnancy and post-partum. A multidisciplinary management strategy may be required to ensure timely identification and treatment.

29th June 2022 • comment

The authors investigated whether there is a causal relationship between coffee consumption and miscarriage, stillbirth, birthweight, gestational age and pre-term birth using Mendelian randomization (MR). Results suggest that coffee consumption during pregnancy might not itself contribute to adverse outcomes such as stillbirth, sporadic miscarriages and pre-term birth or lower gestational age or birthweight of the offspring.

29th June 2022 • comment

Data from Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 24 sub-Saharan African countries between January 2010 and December 2019 were pooled and analysed for sex inequality in early breastfeeding initiation in sub-Saharan Africa. The study found higher odds for early breastfeeding initiation of female children compared to male children in sub-Saharan Africa. To reduce breastfeeding initiation inequalities, programmes that educate and encourage early initiation of breastfeeding irrespective of the child sex should be promoted among mothers.

7th June 2022 • comment

This study was designed to determine the effect of maternal exposure to oil pollution on maternal outcomes in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Findings suggest that women in high exposure areas are at a higher risk of PROM and PPH. This calls for policies and intervention toward reducing maternal exposure to oil pollution in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

29th March 2022 • comment

The objective of this study was to investigate inequalities in stillbirth rates by ethnicity to facilitate development of initiatives to target those at highest risk. Findings suggest that stillbirth rates declined in the UK, but substantial excess risk of stillbirth persists among babies of black and Asian ethnicities. The combined disadvantage for black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnicities who are more likely to live in most deprived areas is associated with considerably higher rates. Key causes of death were congenital anomalies and placental causes. Improved strategies for investigation of stillbirth causes are needed to reduce unexplained deaths so that interventions can be targeted to reduce stillbirths.

29th March 2022 • comment

The objective of the study is to evaluate the association of SARS-CoV-2 infection with serious maternal morbidity or mortality from common obstetric complications. Findings suggets that among pregnant and postpartum individuals at 17 US hospitals, SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with an increased risk for a composite outcome of maternal mortality or serious morbidity from obstetric complications.

23rd February 2022 • comment

This observational analysis explores how the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to a decrease in infant vaccinations.

23rd February 2022 • comment

The objective of this stuyd was to examine whether BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination during pregnancy is associated with adverse neonatal and early infant outcomes among the newborns. This large population-based study found no evident differences between newborns of women who received BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination during pregnancy, vs those of women who were not vaccinated, and contributes to current evidence in establishing the safety of prenatal vaccine exposure to the newborns. Interpretation of study findings is limited by the observational design.

23rd February 2022 • comment

The purpose of this study is to explore the association between place of delivery and newborn care with early neonatal mortality (ENNM), which represents more than 80% of total neonatal mortality in Bangladesh. Study findings highlight the importance of newborn and postnatal care in preventing early neonatal deaths. Further, findings suggest that increasing the proportion of women who give birth in a healthcare facility is not sufficient to reduce ENNM by itself; to realize the theoretical potential of facility delivery to avert neonatal deaths, we must also ensure quality of care during delivery, guarantee all components of ENC, and provide high-quality early PNC. Therefore, sustained efforts to expand access to high-quality ENC and PNC are needed in health facilities, particularly in facilities serving low-income populations.

8th February 2022 • comment

This study investigated the magnitude and trends in socioeconomic and geographic-related inequalities in Skilled Birth Attendance (SBA) in Guinea from 1999 to 2016 and neonatal mortality rate (NMR) between 1999 and 2012. Findings suggest that disproportionate inequalities in SBA and NMR exist among disadvantaged women such as the poor, uneducated, rural residents, and women from regions like Mamou region. Hence, empowering women through education and economic resources, as well as prioritizing SBA for these disadvantaged groups could be key steps toward ensuring equitable SBA, reduction of NMR and advancing the health equity agenda of "no one left behind."

8th February 2022 • comment

To reduce the risk for severe COVID-19-associated illness, CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination for women who are pregnant, recently pregnant (including those who are lactating), who are trying to become pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future.

25th January 2022 • comment

The study aimed to quantify the magnitude of socioeconomic and ethnic inequalities at the population level in England. Results indicate that socioeconomic and ethnic inequalities were responsible for a substantial proportion of stillbirths, preterm births, and births with FGR in England. The largest inequalities were seen in Black and South Asian women in the most socioeconomically deprived quintile. Prevention should target the entire population as well as specific minority ethnic groups at high risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, to address risk factors and wider determinants of health.

17th November 2021 • comment

This study aims to assess the relationship between perinatal depression and long-term economic outcomes. Findings suggest that supporting perinatal mental health is crucial for strengthening the economic well-being of childbearing individuals and reducing the impact of maternal depression on intergenerational transmission of adversity.

17th November 2021 • comment

The COVID-19 pandemic instigated multiple societal and healthcare interventions with potential to affect perinatal practice. The evaluated population-level changes in preterm and full-term admissions to neonatal units, care processes and outcomes. Findings indicate substantial changes occurred in care pathways and clinical thresholds, with disproportionate effects on black ethnic groups, during the immediate COVID-19 period, and raise the intriguing possibility that non-healthcare interventions may reduce extremely preterm births.

19th October 2021 • comment

This study aimed to analyze perinatal outcomes and adverse events during the COVID-19 pandemic's first wave to help direct decision making in future waves. Findings suggest that perinatal and postpartum care during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic differed significantly from that provided before. Increased rates of adverse events underline the need to ensure access to high-quality obstetric care to prevent collateral damage.

19th October 2021 • comment

The objective was to investigate racial and ethnic differences in unexpected, term newborn morbidity and the influence of hospital quality on disparities. Findings suggest that Black and Hispanic women were more likely to deliver in hospitals with high complication rates than were white or Asian American women. Findings implicate hospital quality in contributing to preventable newborn health disparities among low-risk, term births. Quality improvement targeting routine obstetric and neonatal care is critical for equity in perinatal outcomes. 

21st September 2021 • comment

Given the trend of increasing maternal age and associated adverse reproductive outcomes in the US, this study aimed to assess whether this association is due to an independent aging or confounded by sociodemographic, biomedical, or behavioral determinants in a predominantly Black US population.  In this high-risk minority population, findings demonstrated that the association between increasing maternal age and adverse pregnancy outcomes was due to an independent aging effect and the presence of confounding by sociodemographic, biomedical, and behavioral factors. Some modifiable risk factors to counteract aging effect, include optimizing BMI and consistent intake of multivitamin supplement. A fundamental change in how care is provided to women, particularly low income Black women, is needed with emphasis on the protective role of optimal nutritional status.

21st September 2021 • comment

The objective of the study was to examine whether the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic altered risk of adverse pregnancy-related outcomes and whether there were differences by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection status among pregnant women. Findings suggest that in a geographically diverse U.S. cohort, the frequency of adverse pregnancy-related outcomes did not differ between those delivering before compared with during the pandemic, nor between those classified as positive compared with negative for SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy.

21st September 2021 • comment

The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of race and ethnicity on differences in maternal and perinatal outcomes among U.S.-born and foreign-born women, as well as racial and ethnic disparities in outcomes within these groups. 

31st August 2021 • comment

The objective of the study was to assess the effect of short birth interval (SBI) on neonatal, infant, and under-five mortality in Ethiopia. Findings suggest that SBI has a significant effect on neonatal, infant and under-five mortality in Ethiopia. Interventions targeting SBI are warranted to reduce neonatal, infant and under-five mortality.

31st August 2021 • comment

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the authors developed and implemented a new antenatal care schedule integrating telehealth across all models of pregnancy care and assessed the effectiveness and safety of telehealth in antenatal care. Findings from this study suggest that telehealth integrated antenatal care enabled the reduction of in-person consultations by 50% without compromising pregnancy outcomes. This care model can help to minimise in-person interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic, but should also be considered in post-pandemic health-care models.

2nd August 2021 • comment

Global health experts have described loss of autonomy and disrespect as mistreatment. Risk of disrespect and abuse is higher when patient and care provider opinions differ, but little is known about service users experiences when declining aspects of their maternity care. To address this gap, the authors present a qualitative content analysis of 1540 written accounts from 892 service users declining or refusing care options throughout childbearing with a large, geographically representative sample (2900) of childbearing women in British Columbia who participated in an online survey with open-ended questions eliciting care experiences. 

28th June 2021 • comment

This study assesses the concordance of self-reported birth registration and certification completeness with completeness calculated from civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems data for 57 countries. These findings suggest that self-reported completeness figures over-estimate completeness when compared with CRVS data, especially at lower levels of completeness, partly due to over-reporting of registration by respondents. Estimates published by UNICEF should be viewed cautiously, especially given their wide usage. 

28th June 2021 • comment

This study aimed to verify the relationship between the maternal mortality ratio and the incidence of COVID-19 in the State of Bahia, Brazil, 2020. The study revealed the increase in maternal mortality, and its temporal relationship with the incidence of COVID-19, in Bahia, Brazil, in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic may be directly and indirectly related to this increase, which needs to be investigated. An urgent public health action is needed to prevent and reduce maternal deaths during this pandemic, in Brazil.

28th June 2021 • comment

The objective of this study was to evaluate neonatal outcomes in relation to maternal SARS-CoV-2 test positivity in pregnancy.  In a nationwide cohort of infants in Sweden, maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy was significantly associated with small increases in some neonatal morbidities. Given the small numbers of events for many of the outcomes and the large number of statistical comparisons, the findings should be interpreted as exploratory.

11th May 2021 • comment

The objective of the study was to  evaluate the risks associated with COVID-19 in pregnancy on maternal and neonatal outcomes compared with not-infected, concomitant pregnant individuals. In this multinational cohort study, COVID-19 in pregnancy was associated with consistent and substantial increases in severe maternal morbidity and mortality and neonatal complications when pregnant women with and without COVID-19 diagnosis were compared. The findings should alert pregnant individuals and clinicians to implement strictly all the recommended COVID-19 preventive measures.

11th May 2021 • comment

The study assessed whether providing contraceptive counseling during pregnancy and/or prior to discharge from the hospital for birth or after discharge from the hospital for birth was associated with reduced postpartum unmet need in Nepal. Findings suggest that counseling women either before or after discharge reduces unmet need for postpartum contraception but counseling in both periods is most effective.

13th April 2021 • comment

The objective of this study was to compare maternal complications and describe neonatal outcomes in women with severe preeclampsia at ≤ 26+0 weeks in two countries with different management policies: expectant management (Brazil) versus termination of pregnancy (France). When comparing termination of pregnancy to expectant management in severe preeclampsia before 26 weeks, maternal complications were equivalent but maternal reproductive future might have been compromised in 20% of cases due to a higher risk of uterine rupture in subsequent pregnancies for patients having classic cesarean (vertical incision). 26.6% of children survived the neonatal period when pregnancy was pursued, however we lack information on their long-term follow-up.

16th February 2021 • comment

The authors aimed to identify and compare modifiable risk factors associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes in women with type 1 diabetes and those with type 2 diabetes and to identify effective maternity clinics. The data highlight persistent adverse pregnancy outcomes in women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Maternal glycaemia and BMI are the key modifiable risk factors. No maternity clinics were had appreciably better outcomes than any others, suggesting that health-care system changes are needed across all clinics.

16th February 2021 • comment

The objective of this study was to describe disease severity and outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infections in pregnancy across Washington State including pregnancy complications and outcomes, hospitalization, and case fatality. Findings suggest that COVID-19 hospitalization and case fatality rates in pregnant patients were significantly higher compared to similarly aged adults in Washington State. This data indicates that pregnant patients are at risk for severe or critical disease and mortality compared to non-pregnant adults, as well as preterm birth.

16th February 2021 • comment

In this epidemiological case-control study, the authors collected data from Demographic and Health Surveys from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh for the period 1998–2016 for women who reported at least one pregnancy loss and one or more livebirths. The authors assessed ambient exposure during gestation with satellite-based PM2·5 measurements for the period. The findings add to epidemiological evidence of the association between pregnancy loss and PM2·5. Suboptimal air quality contributes to a considerable fraction of total pregnancy loss in south Asia. Controlling PM2·5 pollution will promote maternal health in south Asia.

20th January 2021 • comment

Given differences in preterm birth across populations, the authors examined a diverse urban cohort in the US to determine if preterm birth, spontaneous preterm birth, medically indicated preterm birth, and stillbirth rates have changed during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. This study did not detect significant changes in preterm or stillbirth rates during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in a racially diverse urban cohort from 2 Philadelphia hospitals. Although these data allow for disaggregation of spontaneous and medically indicated preterm births, no differences in overall rates of these phenotypes were detected.

14th December 2020 • comment

Findings suggets that among women in low-resource countries who were at risk for early preterm birth, the use of dexamethasone resulted in significantly lower risks of neonatal death alone and stillbirth or neonatal death than the use of placebo, without an increase in the incidence of possible maternal bacterial infection. 

3rd November 2020 • comment

The authors aimed to estimate the association of Programme for Improving Primary Care Access and Quality (PMAQ) with the provision of maternal and childcare in Brazil, controlling for socioeconomic, geographic and family health team characteristics. Findings suggest that PMAQ has contributed to increase the provision of care to pregnant women and children under 2 years at primary healthcare level. Teams with lower average number of antenatal or child consultations benefited the most by participating in PMAQ, which suggests that PMAQ might motivate worse performing health providers to catch up.

3rd November 2020 • comment

The study aimed to study the impact of the COVID-19 mitigation measures implemented in the Netherlands in a stepwise fashion on March 9, March 15, and March 23, 2020, on the incidence of preterm birth. In this national quasi-experimental study, initial implementation of COVID-19 mitigation measures was associated with a substantial reduction in the incidence of preterm births in the following months, in agreement with preliminary observations elsewhere. Integration of comparable data from across the globe is needed to further substantiate these findings and start exploring underlying mechanisms.

20th October 2020 • comment

This retrospective cohort study used linked birth certificate and hospital discharge data for 8609 of the 100,691 self-identifying non-Hispanic Black women with gestational diabetes (GDM) who had a singleton live birth between 20 and 44 weeks gestation in California in 2013-2017. Findings suggest that foreign-born status remained protective of preterm birth (PTB), irrespective of severity and subtype. Preeclampsia, PTB, and GDM share pathophysiologic mechanisms suggesting a need to better understand differences in perinatal stress, chronic disease, and vascular dysfunction based on nativity in future epidemiologic studies and health services research.

20th October 2020 • comment

This is the first study to investigate the possible correlation between maternal post-partum depression (PPD), mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship satisfaction, maternal marital satisfaction, paternal marital satisfaction, and paternal PPD. It is important for future PPD interventions to target both maternal and paternal mental health, as well as the mechanisms identified that can lead to PPD.

5th October 2020 • comment

The authors conducted an online survey with 1219 breastfeeding mothers in the United Kingdom with a baby 0-12 months old to understand the impact of the pandemic upon breastfeeding duration, experiences and support. The results highlighted two very different experiences: 41.8% of mothers felt that breastfeeding was protected due to lockdown, but 27.0% of mothers struggled to get support and had numerous barriers stemming from lockdown with some stopped breastfeeding before they were ready. 

5th October 2020 • comment

In this prospective, multicentre, international, randomised, parallel, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial, women with type 2 diabetes during pregnancy were randomly assigned from 25 centres in Canada and four in Australia to receive either metformin 1000 mg twice daily or placebo, added to insulin. The study found several maternal glycaemic and neonatal adiposity benefits in the metformin group. Along with reduced maternal weight gain and insulin dosage and improved glycaemic control, the lower adiposity and infant size measurements resulted in fewer large infants but a higher proportion of small-for-gestational-age infants. Understanding the implications of these effects on infants will be important to properly advise patients who are contemplating the use of metformin during pregnancy.

5th October 2020 • comment

The objective of this study was to compare neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or special care nursery admission for deliveries with water immersion compared with deliveries in the matched control group without water immersion. Secondary outcomes included adverse neonatal diagnoses, maternal infections, and perineal lacerations. Findings suggest that hospital-based deliveries with second-stage water immersion had lower risk of NICU or special care nursery admission and perineal lacerations than matched deliveries in the control group without water immersion.

21st September 2020 • comment

This prospective, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was done at the Infectious Feto-Maternal Clinic of Rabin Medical Center (Petach Tikvah, Israel). Pregnant women aged 18 years or older, with serological evidence of a primary cytomegalovirus infection acquired either periconceptionally or during the first trimester of pregnancy, were randomly assigned to oral valaciclovir (8 g per day, twice daily) or placebo from enrolment until amniocentesis at 21 or 22 gestational weeks. Findings suggest that valaciclovir is effective in reducing the rate of fetal cytomegalovirus infection after maternal primary infection acquired early in pregnancy. Early treatment of pregnant women with primary infection might prevent termination of pregnancies or delivery of infants with congenital cytomegalovirus

21st September 2020 • comment

The objective of this study was to overcome the three delays in triage, transport and treatment that underlie adverse pregnancy outcomes with community-level interventions targeting women with pregnancy hypertension in three low-income countries. In this individual participant-level meta-analysis, the authors de-identified and pooled data from the Community-Level Interventions for Pre-eclampsia (CLIP) cluster randomised controlled trials in Mozambique, Pakistan, and India, which were run in 2014–17. The CLIP intervention did not reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes. Future community-level interventions should expand the community health worker workforce, assess general (rather than condition-specific) messaging, and include health system strengthening.

10th September 2020 • comment

The authors aimed to assess the number of institutional births, their outcomes (institutional stillbirth and neonatal mortality rate), and quality of intrapartum care before and during the national COVID-19 lockdown in Nepal. Findings suggest that institutional childbirth reduced by more than half during lockdown, with increases in institutional stillbirth rate and neonatal mortality, and decreases in quality of care. Some behaviours improved, notably hand hygiene and keeping the baby skin-to-skin with their mother. An urgent need exists to protect access to high quality intrapartum care and prevent excess deaths for the most vulnerable health system users during this pandemic period.

24th August 2020 • comment

The objective of this study was to describe clinical characteristics of pregnant and postpartum women with severe COVID-19 in Brazil and to examine risk factors for mortality. The authors identified 124 maternal deaths, corresponding to a case fatality rate among COVID-19 Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) cases in the obstetric population of 12.7%. At least one comorbidity was present in 48.4% of fatal cases compared to 24.9% in survival cases. Among women who died, 58.9% were admitted to ICU, 53.2% had invasive ventilation and 29.0% had no respiratory support. The multivariate logistic regression showed that the main risk factors for maternal death by COVID-19 were postpartum at onset of ARDS, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, while white ethnicity had a protective effect. 

24th August 2020 • comment

In this study, the authors aimed to elucidate best practices regarding infection control in mother–newborn dyads, and identify potential risk factors associated with transmission. Data suggest that perinatal transmission of COVID-19 is unlikely to occur if correct hygiene precautions are undertaken, and that allowing neonates to room in with their mothers and direct breastfeeding are safe procedures when paired with effective parental education of infant protective strategies.

10th August 2020 • comment

The authors examined the reproductive health decision-making (RHDM) capacity and pregnancy termination among women of reproductive age in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Findings suggest that women who are capable of taking reproductive health decisions are more likely to terminate pregnancies. Findings also suggest that age, level of education, contraceptive use and intention, place of residence, and parity are associated with pregnancy termination.

10th August 2020 • comment

The authors aimed to assess the effect of a quality improvement package for intrapartum and immediate newborn care on stillbirth and preterm neonatal survival in Kenya and Uganda, where evidence-based practices are often underutilised. This unblinded cluster-randomised controlled trial was done in western Kenya and eastern Uganda at facilities that provide 24-h maternity care with at least 200 births per year. Findings suggests that fresh stillbirth and neonatal mortality among low-birthweight and preterm babies can be decreased using a package of interventions that reinforces evidence-based practices and invests in health system strengthening.

27th July 2020 • comment

The authors developed a model that simultaneously estimated incidence of unintended pregnancy and abortion within a Bayesian framework. The findings suggest that between 1990–94 and 2015–19, the global unintended pregnancy rate has declined, whereas the proportion of unintended pregnancies ending in abortion has increased. As a result, the global average abortion rate in 2015–19 was roughly equal to the estimates for 1990–94. Our findings suggest that people in high-income countries have better access to sexual and reproductive health care than those in low-income countries. Our findings indicate that individuals seek abortion even in settings where it is restricted. These findings emphasise the importance of ensuring access to the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services, including contraception and abortion care, and for additional investment towards equity in health-care services.

27th July 2020 • comment

The objective of this study was to analyse the cost-effectiveness of Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in promoting breast-feeding during the first hour of life (BFFHL) and reducing late neonatal mortality. Cost-effectiveness analysis showed that BFHI was highly cost-effective in raising BFFHL by 32·0 % at lower cost in comparison with non-BFHI. In addition, BFHI was cost-effective in reducing late neonatal mortality rate by 13·0 % from all causes and by 13·1 % of infant mortality rate from infections.

27th July 2020 • comment

The objective of this study was to investigate the clinical evolution of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in hospitalized pregnant women and potential factors associated with severe maternal outcomes. In the study cohort, one in five women hospitalized with COVID-19 infection delivered urgently for respiratory compromise or were admitted to the ICU. None, however, died. Increased pregestational BMI and abnormal heart and respiratory rates on admission were associated with severe disease.

2nd June 2020 • comment

The aim of the present study is to examine the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on the prevalence of depressive and anxiety symptoms and the corresponding risk factors among pregnant women across China. Findings suggest that major life-threatening public health events such as the COVID-19 outbreak may increase the risk for mental illness among pregnant women including thoughts of self-harm. Strategies targeting maternal stress and isolation such as effective risk communication and the provision of psychological first aid may be particularly useful to prevent negative outcomes for women and their fetuses.

2nd June 2020 • comment

A sexual and reproductive health and justice policy agenda must be at the heart of the COVID-19 response. The response must ensure that universal health coverage includes pregnant women, adolescents, and marginalised groups and must designate sexual and reproductive health, family planning, and community health centres as essential health providers, reallocating resources accordingly.

20th April 2020 • comment

This study, using data collected as part of an ongoing programme evaluation, investigates whether participation in Saving Groups (SGs)-a community-owned microfinance intervention focused on poor households - is associated with maternal health service utilisation, and whether this association is mediated by women's agency - as measured by self-efficacy and decision-making autonomy. This study suggests that the impact of SG membership on use of maternal health services goes beyond improvements in household income and may operate through women's agency by giving women the ability to realize their preference for quality health care.

20th April 2020 • comment

This study explores the challenges and potential solutions for effective implementation of maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) programs for FDMNs residing in camps of Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Findings suggest that providing healthcare in an emergency setting has several associated challenges. Considering the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) as the base for identifying different challenges and their potential solutions at a different level of the program can prove to be an excellent asset for the program implementers in designing their plans. Two additional domains, context, and security should be included in the CFIR framework for any humanitarian settings.

6th April 2020 • comment

A secondary analysis of cross-sectional data from the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) was done to estimate the prevalence and identify factors associated with home childbirth (delivery) among young mothers aged 15-24 years in Nigeria. Findings suggest that young mothers aged 15-24 years had a higher prevalence of home delivery than the national average for all women of reproductive age in Nigeria.

19th October 2019 • comment

This study assessed the effect of a family planning intervention package on modern contraceptive use at 12 months post partum in predominantly rural Burkina Faso. Findings suggest that a package of six low-technology interventions, aimed at strengthening existing primary health-care services and enhancing demand for these services, can effectively increase modern contraceptive use for up to a year post partum in rural settings in Burkina Faso and has the potential to be suitable in similar settings in this country and others.

31st July 2019 • comment

The authors aimed to investigate whether antibiotic prophylaxis prevented maternal infection after operative vaginal birth. In a blinded, randomised controlled trial done at 27 UK obstetric units, women (aged ≥16 years) were allocated to receive a single dose of intravenous amoxicillin and clavulanic acid or placebo (saline) following operative vaginal birth at 36 weeks gestation or later. The primary outcome was confirmed or suspected maternal infection within 6 weeks of delivery defined by a new prescription of antibiotics for specific indications, confirmed systemic infection on culture, or endometritis. This trial shows benefit of a single dose of prophylactic antibiotic after operative vaginal birth and guidance from WHO and other national organisations should be changed to reflect this.

2nd July 2019 • comment

The objective of this study was to assess the effect of 2-way short message service (SMS) with a nurse on postpartum contraceptive use among individual women and couples. The authors conducted a randomized controlled trial at 2 public hospitals in western Kenya. Findings suggest that the two-way SMS with a nurse, including optional male participation, increased postpartum contraceptive use.

13th May 2019 • comment

This cluster randomised trial assessed whether augmentation of a nurse home visitation program with an intimate partner violence intervention, starting in pregnancy, compared with the home visitation program alone, leads to improved maternal quality of life at 24 months after infant delivery? The trial included 492 pregnant women, randomization to the augmented program compared with nurse home visitation alone resulted in maternal quality-of-life scores at 24 months postdelivery of 311.3 vs 316.2 (measured using the WHOQOL-BREF scale; range, 0-400)—a difference that was not statistically significant. These findings do not support augmenting a nurse home visitation program with this complex, multifaceted intimate partner violence intervention.

29th April 2019 • comment

As part of the WHO’s Maternal Morbidity Working Group’s efforts to define and measure maternal morbidity, the authors carried out a thematic analysis of the qualitative literature published between 1998 and 2017 on how women experience maternal morbidity in low and lower-middle income countries. Analysis of the 71 papers included in this study shows that women’s status, their marital relationships, cultural attitudes towards fertility and social responses to infertility and pregnancy trauma are fundamental to determining how they will experience morbidity in the pregnancy and postpartum periods. 

29th April 2019 • comment

This study investigates the associations between women's autonomy and attitudes toward the acceptability of intimate-partner violence against women (IPVAW) and maternal health-care utilization outcomes. The findings suggest that strong and significant associations exist between autonomy, acceptability of IPVAW and utilization of maternal health-care services.

25th February 2019 • comment

The latest findings from the international INTERGROWTH-21st Project, that has monitored healthy, urban children from educated families across four continents from early pregnancy to 2 years of age, show that human neurodevelopment is not influenced by the colour of an individual’s skin.

12th February 2019 • comment

The study authors did a multicountry analysis of data from nationally representative Service Provision Assessment surveys done between 2007 to 2017 in ten countries across three regions (Bangladesh, Haiti, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nepal, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda). Findings suggest that there are critical gaps in the provision of post-abortion care at all facilities that offer delivery services. In seven (70%) of ten countries, less than 10% of primary-level facilities could provide basic post-abortion care, and in eight (80%) of ten countries less than 40% of referral-level facilities could provide comprehensive post-abortion care. In no country could all referral facilities provide all the essential services that need to be included in basic post-abortion care. Increasing the provision of good-quality post-abortion care is essential to reduce the level of abortion-related morbidity and mortality.

17th December 2018 • comment

Janani Suraksha Yojana (safe motherhood scheme, or JSY) provides cash incentives to marginal pregnant women in India conditional on having mainly institutional delivery. Using the fourth round of district level household survey (DLHS-4), we have estimated its effects on both intended and unintended outcomes. Our estimates of average treatment effect on the treated (ATT) from propensity score matching are remarkably higher than those found in previous prominent studies using the second and third rounds of the survey (DLHS-2 and DLHS-3). When we apply fuzzy regression discontinuity design exploiting the second birth order, our estimates of local average treatment effect (LATE) are much higher than that of ATT. For example, due to JSY, institutional delivery increases by around 16 percentage points according to ATT estimate but about 23 percentage points according to LATE estimate.

8th October 2018 • comment

The GAPD is a comprehensive tool that can be used to strengthen knowledge, inform law and policy research to generate evidence on the impact of laws and policies in practice, and facilitate greater awareness of the many challenges to creating enabling policy environments for safe abortion.

2nd October 2018 • comment
10th August 2018 • comment

This systematic review aims to estimate the magnitude and severity of complications associated with abortion in areas where access to abortion is limited, with a particular focus on potentially life-threatening complications. In spite of the challenges on how near miss morbidity has been defined and measured in the included studies, our results suggest that a substantial percentage of abortion-related hospital admissions have potentially life-threatening complications. Estimates that are more reliable will only be obtained with increased use of standard definitions such as the WHO near-miss criteria and/or better reporting of clinical criteria applied in studies. 

30th July 2018 • comment

In a quasi-experimental trial design, unions with an average population of about 25 000 and a first level health facility were allocated to an intervention arm (n = 4) to receive integrated post-partum family planning and maternal and newborn health (PPFP-MNH) interventions, or to a control arm (n = 4) to receive the MNH interventions only. Study findings demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of integrating PPFP interventions into a community based MNH intervention package. Thus, MNH programs should consider systematically integrating PPFP as a service component to improve pregnancy spacing and reduce the risk of preterm birth.

30th July 2018 • comment

The aim of this study was to determine whether an intervention designed to involve the male partners of pregnant women in Burkina Faso in facility-based maternity care influences care-seeking and healthy practices after childbirth. The hypothesis was that the intervention would increase postnatal care attendance, the duration of exclusive breastfeeding and the use of postpartum contraception. Findings suggest that the intervention to involve male partners in maternity care was associated with an increase in attendance at postnatal care consultations, in the duration of exclusive breastfeeding and in the use of postpartum contraception, especially long-acting, reversible contraception. The intervention also had a positive effect on communication between the couple and shared decision-making related to reproductive health. 

10th July 2018 • comment

This study aims to investigate the effect of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) on the long-term risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Seven cohort studies with 3,417,020 pregnant women including 14,146 incident CVD events were retrieved. In the pooled analysis, women with previous GDM had a higher risk of CVD than those without.

2nd May 2018 • comment

Postpartum depression (PPD) poses a major global public health challenge. The authors conducted a meta-analysis to estimate the global and national prevalence of PPD and a meta-regression to identify economic, health, social, or policy factors associated with national PPD prevalence. The global prevalence of PPD is greater than previously thought and varies dramatically by nation. Disparities in wealth inequality and maternal-child-health factors explain much of the national variation in PPD prevalence.

7th March 2018 • comment

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the rate of decline in prevalence of maternal and child mortality, stillbirths, and stunting among children younger than 5 years of age needs to accelerate considerably compared with progress since 2000. Countdown to 2030 is investing in improvements in measurement in several areas, such as quality of care and effective coverage, nutrition programmes, adolescent health, early childhood development, and evidence for conflict settings, and is prioritising its regional networks to enhance local analytic capacity and evidence for RMNCH.

5th February 2018 • comment

The aim of the study reported here is to explore professionals’ perceptions regarding intimate partner violence (IPV) among young people, focusing on the characteristics of the phenomenon and their perceptions about existing programmes and campaigns aimed at addressing it.  The study participants showed good knowledge of the characteristics IPV has among young people. This knowledge was reflected in locally implemented IPV prevention projects, which they considered successful in addressing young people’s needs. However, these interventions lacked formal evaluation, political support and continuation. The study participants did not believe that nationwide mass media campaigns realistically reflected the specific characteristics of IPV among young people. Thus, participants perceived these campaigns to be ineffective.

21st July 2017 • comment

The aim of this review was to assess the scope of the published literature on the consequences of maternal morbidity on health-related functioning at the global level and identify key substantive findings as well as research and methodological gaps. Many assessments have not been comprehensive and have paid little attention to important functioning domains for pregnant and postpartum women. The development of a comprehensive instrument specific to maternal health would greatly advance our understanding of burden of ill health associated with maternal morbidity and help set priorities. The lack of attention to consequences on functioning associated with the main direct obstetric complications is of particular concern.

17th July 2017 • comment

This article reviews the literature on research on FGM/C in Australia, which focuses on health system response to women and girls with FGM/C. Recommendations are made for policy reform in health, legislation, and community programs to provide the best healthcare, protect children, and help communities abandon this harmful practice.  Findings suggest that countries of migration can be part of the solution for abandonment of FGM/C through community interventions and implementation of national and coordinated training in FGM/C of experts involved in the care and protection of children and women. The global focus on collaboration on research, training and prevention programs should be fostered between countries of FGM/C prevalence and migration.

2nd June 2017 • comment

This review reports findings on a systematic review analysing effectiveness of preventive interventions delivered by Community Health Workers for Maternal and Child Health in low- and middle-income countries. Community Health Workers were shown to provide a range of preventive interventions for Maternal and Child Health in low- and middle-income countries with some evidence of effective strategies, though insufficient evidence is available to draw conclusions for most interventions and further research is needed.

3rd April 2017 • comment

Obstetric fistula is an important global health issue that negatively affects the lives of countless women, and the team highlight what can be done to prevent and treat fistula.

31st May 2016 • comment

After the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Afghanistan experienced a tumultuous period of democracy overshadowed by conflict, widespread insurgency, and an inflow of development assistance. Although there have been several cross-sectional assessments of health gains over the last decade, there has been no systematic analysis of progress and factors influencing maternal and child health in Afghanistan. Despite conflict and poverty, Afghanistan has made reasonable progress in its reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health indicators over the last decade based on contributions of factors within and outside the health sector. However, equitable access to health care remains a challenge and present delivery models have high transactional costs, affecting sustainability.

18th May 2016 • comment

As part of Disease Control Priorities 3rd Edition, the World Bank will publish a volume on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health that identifies essential cost-effective health interventions that can be scaled up to reduce maternal, newborn, and child deaths, and stillbirths. This Review summarises the volume's key findings and estimates the effect and cost of expanded implementation of these interventions. Recognising that a continuum of care from the adolescent girl, woman, or mother to child is needed, the volume includes details of preventive and therapeutic health interventions in integrated packages: Maternal and Newborn Health and Child Health (along with folic acid supplementation, a key reproductive health intervention).

21st April 2016 • comment

This study aimed to assess the impact of socioeconomic variables and method of contraception on the decision to either terminate or continue and unintended pregnancy. Low educational attainment was associated with not using any form of contraception among women with unintended pregnancies. However, as unintended pregnancy occurs across all socio-demographic groups, care providers are encouraged to have an open discussion regarding fertility goals and contraception with all patients and refer them to appropriate resource materials.

6th April 2016 • comment

A seminar presented by Dr Jalemba Aluvaala in the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, University of Oxford

22nd December 2015 • comment

Damalie Nakanjako (MBChB, MMED, PhD) is an internist whose work focuses on optimizing HIV treatment outcomes and reducing HIV-associated morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa.

14th December 2015 • comment

The first international stnadards for monitroing the growth of preterm babies have now been published in the Lancet Global Health (October 2015). 

14th October 2015 • comment

The EMPOWER Program (EMpowering Progress in Obstetric and Women's hEalth Research)  is now accepting research proposals related to preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy from young investigators in low resource settings. Letters of Intent are due November 15, 2015. Thereafter, projects deemed feasible will be invited to submit full applications by April 15, 2016. The grant recipient will be announced in October 2016 at the World Congress of the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy (ISSHP).

30th September 2015 • comment

The articles in this collection examine the evidence and the thinking that form the basis of the new global strategy.

17th September 2015 • comment

This study aim to estimate the 10- and 20-year mortality from breast cancer following a diagnosis of DCIS and to establish whether the mortality rate is influenced by age at diagnosis, ethnicity, and initial treatment received. Findings suggest that important risk factors for death from breast cancer following a DCIS diagnosis include age at diagnosis and black ethnicity. The risk of death increases after a diagnosis of an ipsilateral second primary invasive breast cancer, but prevention of these recurrences by radiotherapy does not diminish breast cancer mortality at 10 years.

21st August 2015 • comment

Girls' and women's health is in transition and, although some aspects of it have improved substantially in the past few decades, there are still important unmet needs. Population ageing and transformations in the social determinants of health have increased the coexistence of disease burdens related to reproductive health, nutrition, and infections, and the emerging epidemic of chronic and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Simultaneously, worldwide priorities in women's health have themselves been changing from a narrow focus on maternal and child health to the broader framework of sexual and reproductive health and to the encompassing concept of women's health, which is founded on a life-course approach.      

15th July 2015 • comment

The authors conducted a systematic review to identify, critically appraise and synthesize the analyses of the ecologic association between CS rates and maternal, neonatal and infant outcomes. The findings suggest that at CS rates below this threshold, socio-economic development may be driving the ecologic association between CS rates and mortality. On the other hand, at rates higher than this threshold, there is no association between CS and mortality outcomes regardless of adjustment. The ecological association between CS rates and relevant morbidity outcomes needs to be evaluated before drawing more definite conclusions at population level.        

30th June 2015 • comment

The progress in key maternal health indicators in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) over the past two decades has been slow. This paper analyzed available information on nutrition programs and nutrition-specific interventions targeting maternal nutrition in the ESAR and proposes steps to improve maternal nutrition in this region. Findings from the review suggest that multiple nutrition programs are in place in the ESAR; including programs that directly address nutrition indicators and those that integrate corresponding sectors like agriculture, health, education, and water and sanitation. However, their scale and depth differ considerably. These programs have been implemented by a diverse range of players including respective government ministries, international agencies, non government organisations and the private sector in the region. Most of these programs are clustered in a few countries like Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia while others e.g. Comoros, Somalia and Swaziland have only had a limited number of initiatives.

4th June 2015 • comment

Dr Nat Segaren - Medical Director of the Caris Foundation, presents on 'The Haiti National Early Infant Diagnosis of HIV Program'

27th May 2015 • comment

In celebration of Global Health Trials' fifth birthday (May 11th 2015) Professor Trudie Lang, Principal Investigator of the programme, talks to us about why Global Health Trials was started, why people should share their experience, and what the future holds.

8th May 2015 • comment

A review of e-health interventions for maternal and child health (MCH) to explore their influence on MCH practices in sub-Sahara Africa found a total of 18 relevant articles. Findings suggeswt that there is a need to move the application of ICT for MCH care from pilot initiatives to interventions involving all stakeholders on a sub-regional scale. These interventions should also adopt an integrated approach that takes care of the information needs at every stage along the continuum of care. It is anticipated that the study would be useful in the evolution and implementation of future ICT-based programmes for MCH in the region.

2nd May 2015 • comment


by Lambert et al

Rubella remains an important pathogen worldwide, with roughly 100 000 cases of congenital rubella syndrome estimated to occur every year. This seminar present results regarding rubella control, elimination, and eradication policies, and a brief review of new laboratory diagnostics.      

28th February 2015 • comment

The increasing consumption of sugar worldwide seems to lead to several health problems, including some types of cancer. This study examined the association of sweet foods and drinks intake with mammographic density among 776 premenopausal and 779 postmenopausal women recruited at mammography. The results suggest that an increase in sweet foods or sugar-sweetened beverage intake is associated with higher mammographic density.

7th July 2014 • comment
8th May 2014 • comment

In 2013, the WHO released a new set of guidelines on the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/AIDS. The new guidelines suggests that all pregnant women who test positive for HIV should immediately begin a course of triple ARVs, regardless of CD4 cell levels.

19th February 2014 • comment

Moleen Zunza is a member of the Global Research Nurses' network and is part of the team that has published this systematic review.

13th January 2014 • comment

The recent BMC Public Health supplement “The Lives Saved Tool in 2013: new capabilities and applications” has been published.  The series comprise of 30 papers focusing on various domains of maternal child health with a special focus on the interventions reviewed for the prevention and management of childhood diarrhea and penumonia.

28th September 2013 • comment

The Lancet publishes a special themed issue to coincide with the third Women Deliver conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on May 28–30, 2013. Women Deliver brings together voices from around the world to generate political commitment and resource investments to improve the health and well-being of girls and women and achieve universal access to reproductive health. The studies published in The Lancet's themed issue use different methods to show the multidimensional nature of reproductive health and the influence of social determinants and health systems.

20th May 2013 • comment

The health outcomes of women and children have not matched expectations from the gains in the coverage of care. Robust evidence exists for one explanatory factor: the poor–rich gaps in coverage found along the continuum of care for women and children, and particularly for the crucial period around childbirth. The more-neglected explanation for the mismatch between coverage and health outcomes is the quality of the care provided to women and children. The following paper is structured around a key cause and a consequence of the neglect of quality—weak measurement and poor evidence for action—and concludes with priorities for seizing the quality care opportunity.

6th February 2013 • comment