UK and India join forces to tackle the global health needs of women and children

Seven research partnerships will receive a total of £10 million under Phase 2 of the Global Research Programme on Health between UKRI (led by the Medical Research Council and Economic and Social Research Council), Department for International Development and India’s Department of Biotechnology under the Newton-Bhabha Fund.

The multidisciplinary research teams will lead projects that seek to address the health needs of women and children in disadvantaged populations globally. The awards will generate new evidence on interventions to tackle diseases that disproportionately affect women and their unborn children in low and middle-income countries, such as gestational diabetes mellitus, anemia, hypertension and sexually transmitted infections.

These collaborative awards form the second phase of the Global Research Programme on health, an initiative that brings together a consortium of funders to collectively support partnerships between researchers from the UK, India and low and middle-income countries (LMIC).

The partner agencies share the view that to have maximum impact on health we need to work together to provide evidence of the best and most appropriate interventions to improve health in LMIC settings. Pooling resources bring the necessary funds and experience together to achieve implementable results which address health problems affecting people in LMIC.

The projects will see research groups in Ethiopia, Uganda, the Gambia, Zambia and Nepal team up with researchers in India and the UK to ensure that results are implementable, scalable and in line with local policy needs, while also building capacity in these countries.

Alex Harris, International Programme Manager at the MRC, said: "Maternal and neonatal health represents a major global health challenge. Every year, worldwide, 2.7 million babies die during the first 28 days of life, and 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries. Creating environments for healthy pregnancies and infant development is a major priority for global health research. This exciting initiative that will see the UK and India join forces to tackle this key global health challenge."

Courtesy of Medical Research Council website;