In 2010, during the Millenium Developmental Goals Summit Meeting, the UN General Secretary launched the ‘Every Woman, Every Child’ strategy with the aim of improving maternal and child health and avoiding 16 million deaths in a five-year period. Now, the strategy has been updated in alignment with the Sustainable Developmental Goals under the new name ‘Every Woman, Every Child, Every Adolescent’ and focus on the reduction of maternal mortality.

As in the previous period, the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) will contribute to this initiative after approval of the renewal request of its commitment. The extended agreement implies that ISGlobal will not only participate in coordinating the R&D agenda but will also participate in maternal and child health research and capacity building among health professionals particularly in low and middle income countries.

The research, with an estimated cost of 10 million USD, will focus on malaria and HIV infections in reproductive, maternal, child and adolescent health, particularly among the most vulnerable populations. “Infectious diseases are still the main causes of maternal mortality in low and middle income countries” explains Anna Lucas, Coordinator of the Maternal, Child and Reproductive Health Initiative. “They are therefore a key research area in ISGlobal” she adds.

As stated by the agreement, ISGlobal commits itself to working in narrow collaboration with the other members of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) for the promotion of a multidisciplinary and coordinated global research agenda in line with WHO’s Strategy for Women, Child and Teenage Health.

“Both academic and research centres must play their part in driving the agenda, particularly by identifying knowledge gaps and prioritizing research to ensure that the tools and interventions will benefit the target populations: women and children” explains Lucas.

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