Organisation profile

Introduction

The Maternal and Reproductive Health Unit belongs to the Health System group of the Public Health Department at ITM and was founded in 2011 as a split of the Quality in Health Care Unit. Its objective is the promotion of population health by contributing to technical and policy decisions in the domains of maternal, neonatal 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 since its foundation. 

 

Main research topics

  • health seeking behavior of pregnant adolescent girls in Nepal and Bangladesh
  • gestational diabetes in Morocco
  • maternal death surveillance system in Morocco
  • social accountability in maternal health services in India
  • obstetric fistula in Guinea
  • quality caesarean section in Benin
  • 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.

We are involved in research (proposal stage) on respectful childbirth in Malawi and integrated sexual and reproductive health services in Benin.

 

Main activities

The main activities of our Unit include the coordination of the strategic network on sexual and reproductive health with the aim to develop and strengthen networks of eight partners in North and West Africa who conduct collaborative gender and human rights- based research in the field of SRH and translate their results into policy and practice. We are involved in postgraduate teaching and coaching (Master, Post-graduates, PhD) at ITM and are coordinating the reproductive health modules of the diploma courses on tropical medicine and international health for doctors, nurses and midwives. Our Unit provides support in the development of training and research capacity of the National School of Public Health in Morocco, strengthen competencies for the strategic management of public health policies (short course to high level cadres of the MOH) and is involved in reviewing research on the national health financing scheme in Morocco (ONDH). As project members 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).

Within ITM we closely work together with Thérèse Delvaux (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 Child Health and Nutrition Unit. Our team members are part of the institutional review board, several steering committees (MPH, postgraduates courses, MPH and short course selection committees) and the MPH jury as well as providing 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), the Because-health (SRHR group) and the Belgian Platform for Population & Development.

Outside the ITM, our partners are the School of Public Health in Rabat (Morocco), the Observatoire National du Développement Humain (Morocco), the School of Tropical Medicine and Global Health of the Nagasaki University (Japan), the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (UK), the Centre de Recherche en Reproduction Humaine et en Demographie CERRHUD (Benin), the University of Aberdeen (UK), the Agence de Formation, de Recherche et d’Expertise en Santé pour l’Afrique (AFRICSanté) (Burkina Faso), Centre National de Formation et de Recherche en Santé Rurale de Maferinyah (Guinea), 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 (Senegal), université d'Annaba (Algeria), Direction Régionale de la Santé de Nabeul (Tunisia), Institut Salah Azaiz (Tunisia), Université de Montréal (Canada).

 

Contact information

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

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