UP researchers have been working with the South African government to collect data on mother, newborn and child deaths across the country since 1997. Now all this data is being put to good use as the Research Centre for Maternal, Fetal, Newborn and Child Health Care designs and implements interventions to save lives and improve the quality of care in South African hospitals and clinics.
The data collected by the Centre pointed to a crisis in the field of maternal and child health in the country and highlighted several causes of preventable death in mothers and babies. These included health concerns like blood loss, infections and HIV, as well as a skills shortage in certain regions and facilities.
Having identified areas for improvement, the Centre is pioneering several initiatives that are already making a difference - saving lives, increasing the skills of health workers, and helping to deliver more healthy infants than ever before.
UP launches new Centre for maternal and child health
After 20 years of contributing to the lives of pregnant women, newborn babies and infants; the South African Medical Research Council's (MRC’s) Maternal and Infant Health Care Strategies Unit has become a fully fledged Centre at the University of Pretoria (UP). A vision of Prof Robert Pattinson, the Research Centre for Maternal, Fetal, Newborn and Child Health Care under the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology today boasts a treasure trove of experts and knowledge gathered since the unit’s inception in 1997.
UP trains healthcare professionals to reduce maternal deaths
The newly launched Research Centre for Maternal, Fetal, Newborn and Child Health Care at the University of Pretoria has collected expertise and data on maternal and child health over two decades. The Essential Steps in Managing Obstetric Emergencies (ESMOE) project is one of many initiatives run under the auspices of the new Centre, aimed at improving primary and secondary maternal and infant healthcare by providing health workers with the necessary skills to handle difficult births.
Kangaroo Mother Care: UP’s low-tech solution is saving premature babies
Premature babies all over Africa and in developing countries around the world have a greater chance of survival today thanks to the work of University of Pretoria researchers. Prof Anne-Marie Bergh and colleagues have been tirelessly promoting the benefits of Kangaroo Mother Care for almost 20 years, by training nurses and doctors in this low-tech solution that is saving premature and low birth-weight infants.
Locally made low-cost device reduces stillbirths by half
Researchers at the University of Pretoria have just finished testing a device that could prevent thousands of still births every year. The Umbiflow is a low-cost, low-tech device that detects problems with pregnancies in otherwise healthy women, and ensures that they get the care they need for a healthy birth, before it’s too late.
A lifelong quest to reduce infant deaths
For most doctors in training, obstetrics is hectic and too busy, but for Dr Felicia Molokoane it is a calling. Her bold career choice has led to her being part of groundbreaking research on the effects of HIV treatment on the growth of babies.
Prof Robert Pattinson
Director: Research Centre for Maternal, Fetal, Newborn and Child Health Care
Research Interests: Clinical audits, reducing maternal and perinatal mortality, implementing public health science
Programme Manager: Research Centre for Maternal, Fetal, Newborn and Child Health Care
Dr Anne-Marie Bergh
Senior Researcher: Research Centre for Maternal, Fetal, Newborn and Child Health Care
Research Interests: Implementation and scale-up of health care interventions, qualitative research, kangaroo mother care
Dr Elise van Rooyen
Head: Kangaroo Mother Care Unit, Kalafong Hospital
Research Interests: Care of premature and low birth weight infants, Kangaroo Mother Care
Dr Spencer Nkosi
PhD student and clinical consultant
Research interests: Umbiflow investigator
Dr Felicia Molokoane
PhD student and clinical consultant
Research interests: Effects of ARTs on childbirth and development