Maternal and newborn health in urban areas
We work with partners around the globe to understand the ways women seek care, the capacities of the healthcare facilities that provide care, and the health outcomes as a result of this interaction. The objective of this research is to improve the survival and well-being of mothers and their newborns, through in-depth understanding of and engagement with local communities and decision makers.
This study was funded by the Institute of Tropical Medicine’s internal funds, which are supported by the Department of Economy, Science & Innovation of the Flemish Government, and the fifth framework agreement between ITM and the Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD).
Dr Benova is partially funded by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) as part of her senior postdoctoral fellowship.
Our stakeholder analysis of maternal health in the city of Antwerp (Belgium) is now available.
We co-authored a commentary calling for more extensive multisectoral approaches to addressing global urban maternal and perinatal health inequities, which includes case studies from Rotterdam and Kampala. It is available in the journal Cities & Health.
Our study of 22 large African cities included nearly 20,000 women. We concluded that few cities achieved good performance across the three services within the maternal continuum of care (antenatal, childbirth and postnatal care). Most cities showed inconsistent levels of maternal care utilisation and content across the continuum of care. Cotonou and Accra relatively showed the best performance and Nairobi and Ndjamena the worst.
The objective of this study was to understand levels of neonatal mortality in 21 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and compare urban and rural areas. We also looked at Tanzania in particular, because its mortality rate among newborns is higher in urban areas compared to rural.
Our mixed methods study of six maternity wards in urban areas of four countries (Guinea, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania) during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic provided important insights into the way in which use and provision of care in referral hospitals in cities was affected by disruptions.
‘We are not going to shut down, because we cannot postpone pregnancy’: a mixed-methods study of the provision of maternal healthcare in six referral maternity wards in four sub-Saharan African countries during the COVID-19 pandemic
We participated in a study of travel time to obstetric care and patterns of referral between health facilities in Lagos Nigeria.
Baby deaths in Tanzania: being born in a city no longer increases their chances of survival (The Conversation, 2023)
Infants born in cities ‘twice more likely to die’ (SciDev.Net, 2022)
Centre de Recherche en Reproduction Humaine et en Démographie (CERRHUD)
École de Santé Publique de l'Université de Lubumbashi (ESP/UNILU)
Centre d’excellence africain pour la prévention et le contrôle des maladies transmissibles (CEA-PCMT)
OnTIME Consortium – Pregnant women accessing obstetric care
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