Organisation profile

Introduction

The Maternal and Reproductive Health Unit belongs to the Department of Public Health at ITM. Its objective is the promotion of population health by contributing to technical and policy decisions in the domains of maternal sexual and reproductive health while keeping a health system perspective in our training, research and service delivery activities. The unit is led by Prof. Vincent De Brouwere.

Main research topics

  • Health seeking behavior of pregnant adolescent girls in Nepal and Bangladesh
  • Gestational diabetes in Morocco
  • Maternal death surveillance system in Morocco
  • Obstetric fistula in Guinea
  • Social accountability in maternal health services in India
  • Provision and quality of health services in Morocco (with a focus on rural maternities)
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of a mobile Clinical Decision Making Support System (CDMSS) intervention for frontline providers of maternal and neonatal care in the Eastern region (ER) of Ghana
  • Improving prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV cascade in Cambodia
  • Family planning-acceptability of a vaginal contraceptive ring

Main activities

The main activities of our unit focus on the promotion and the support of collaborative gender and human rights-based research in the field of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) with partners in North and West Africa and Asia and contributing to translate research results into policy and practice. Our unit provides support in the development of training and research capacity of the Centre National de Formation et de Recherche en Santé Rurale de Maferinyah (Guinea, Conakry), and in strengthening capacity to conduct operations research of the National Center for HIV, Dermatology and STDs (NCHADS) (Cambodia). The Maternal and Reproductive Health Unit also has a long collaboration with the National School of Public Health, Morocco, in conducting joint health system research and in developing together short courses and MPH tracks aiming at strengthening capacities of MOH high level cadres. As project member of MNSIRSES, an EU project to improve maternal, newborn health and to control sexually transmitted infections through clinical and public health research, we are involved in several research projects in Morocco (maternal death reviews, gestational diabetes). At international policy level, we are an active member of the Be-cause health working group on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) which works closely with the Belgian Development Cooperation. In terms of training activities, we are strongly involved in postgraduate teaching and coaching (master, postgraduates, PhD) at ITM and are coordinating the reproductive health modules of the Master of Public Health, and of the diploma courses on tropical medicine and international health for doctors, nurses and midwives.

Within ITM we closely work together with the HIV/AIDS Policy Unit and we have common projects with the group Health System Management, the group International Health Policies and Economics and the group Epidemiology and Control of Tropical Diseases. We lead the Women and Child Health research center that has been founded in collaboration with the HIV/AIDS Policy Unit and the Nutrition and Child Health Unit. Our team members are part of the institutional ethical review board, several steering committees (MPH, postgraduate courses, MPH and short course selection committees) and the MPH jury.

We also provide support to the UCL IRSS PhD Commission and technical support for the Flemish government at the annual policy coordination meeting of the human reproduction programme at WHO. We are involved in the network of the Community of Practice (Human Resources for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health) and the Be-cause health working group on SRHR.

Outside ITM, our partners are:

  • Centre National de Formation et de Recherche en Santé Rurale de Maferinyah (Guinea)
  • School of Public Health in Rabat (Morocco)
  • Observatoire National du Développement Humain (Morocco)
  • School of Tropical Medicine and Global Health of the Nagasaki University (Japan)
  • National Center for HIV, Dermatology and STDs (NCHADS) in Cambodia, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (UK)
  • Centre de Recherche en Reproduction Humaine et en Demographie CERRHUD (Benin)
  • University of Aberdeen (UK)
  • Agence de Formation, de Recherche et d’Expertise en Santé pour l’Afrique (AFRICSanté) (Burkina Faso)
  • Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Statistique et d’Economie Appliquée (Cote d’Ivoire)
  • Centre Régional de Formation, de Recherche et de Plaidoyer en Santé de la Reproduction (CEFROREP) (Senegal)
  • Université d'Annaba (Algeria)
  • Direction Régionale de la Santé de Nabeul (Tunisia)
  • Université de Montréal (Canada)

Contact information

Nationalestraat 155
2000
Antwerpen
Belgium
Nationalestraat 155
2000
Antwerpen
Belgium
  • Phone: +32(0)32476251

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