Maternal, Newborn & Child Health
Working group objectives
- Facilitate appropriate inclusion of women (pregnant, breastfeeding or, more broadly, of childbearing age) and children in clinical trials of COVID-19 diagnostics, prophylaxis, and therapeutics
- Support use of safety registries for pregnant women in context of COVID-19 treatment
Working group members
I am an obstetrician-gynaecologist with formal training in obstetrics, gynaecology, and public health. I am actively involved in clinical and research training, and mentoring of undergraduates and postgraduates in Zambia. I was previously Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the School of Medicine at the University of Zambia. In addition to my clinical appointment, I currently serve as Director of Research and Postgraduate Studies at the Levy Mwanawasa Medical University in Lusaka, Zambia. I act as a consultant and advisor to the Ministry of Health on reproductive health and am a member of relevant technical working groups. With marked health disparities in Zambia, my current focus is to train and mentor health care workers and conduct research on positioning emergency obstetric and newborn care in Zambia within the framework of universal health care.
I am a Parasitologist working in the Department of Clinical Laboratory at the University Hospital (Hospital Escuela) in Tegucigalpa, the main public health hospital in Honduras. I am also a faculty member of the Research Unit (Unidad de Investigación Científica), Faculty of Medical Sciences (Facultad de Ciencias Médicas), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras (UNAH). I am board member of the Instituto de Enfermedades Infecciosas y Parasitologia Antonio Vidal (IAV), a non-profit organization devoted to training, advising, and conducting research in the field of infectious diseases and parasitology. I combine clinical laboratory work, teaching, and research activities with mentoring graduate and post-graduate students and faculty members performing health research, thereby building interdisciplinary bridges, promoting international collaboration, and networking to advance scientific research and social innovation for health in Honduras.
I am 50 years old, with 22 years as an obstetrician-gynecologist. I practiced for 3 years in a rural hospital in the north coast of Honduras and then commuted to Tegucigalpa to work at Hospital Escuela, first as an Ultrasonographer in the OBS/GYN unit, then I was in charge of the labour and delivery unit, later rotating all the OBS/GYN departments. I am now the chief of department and we have residency programs from the National University (UNAH) in our hospital. For 8 years I have been teaching at the medicine faculty of UNAH. I also collaborate with the Central American Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology in their research group and as part of the editorial board of the Honduran Medical Journal.
Director, Makerere University Health Services and Founder President East Central and Southern Africa College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ECSACOG). I hold a PhD in International Health from Karolinska Institutet, Sweden and am a FAIMER Fellow (PA-USA). Currently an Assoc Professor in the Dept of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.
Dr Melanie Etti is a clinical research fellow in paediatric infectious diseases and microbiology and is based in Kampala, Uganda. She is currently working under the supervision of the MNCH Working Group co-chair, Professor Kirsty Le Doare, on a large, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded study, which is focused towards reducing the incidence of Group B Streptococcal disease among neonates in Uganda. Following the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked to set up periCOVID Africa. This international, multi-site study aims to understand the sero-epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 among the pregnant population in five Sub-Saharan African countries (The Gambia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda). Her research interests include the development and evaluation of targeted and population-based strategies for infectious disease prevention and control, particularly in resource-limited settings.
Kristina Gemzell Danielsson is professor, Head of the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet and senior consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden. She is head of the research group at the WHO collaborating centre for research and research training in Human Reproduction and a member of the scientific and technical advisory group of the special programme for Human Reproduction and Reproductive Health Research (STAG) WHO, Geneva, the international medical advisory panel (IMAP) IPPF, FIGO’s executive board and Chair of the FIGO committee on Human Rights, refugees and violence against women.
Dr Le Doare is UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and Professor of Global Health within the Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group at St. George’s, University of London, based at MRC/UVRI @LSHTM Uganda. Her research interests are age-related immune responses to infectious diseases, in particular to Group B-streptococcus (GBS). She is interested in improving our knowledge of how maternal antibody in vaginal fluid, blood and breast milk is passed to babies and how this protects them from colonisation and disease. Her focus is on harnessing these tools of nature (basic pathophysiology and immunity) to improve vaccines and prevention strategies, coupled with clinical vaccine studies at her maternal vaccination platform site in Kampala, Uganda. She leads the periCOVID study to inderstand the immunology and transmission of COVID19 from women to infants and how antibodies might protect against infection in the newborn period. The aim is to reassure new mothers that they can safely care for their babies and breastfeed them without harm. We also hope to help hospitals develop infection prevention and control procedures to allow women to attend antenatal care safely during the pandemic and for their infants to attend for vaccination and sick visits. She is passionate about training the next generation of female scientists working in Africa to improve maternal and child health. She receives funding from the EDCTP, MRC and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Dr. Lisa Noguchi is a certified nurse-midwife and infectious disease epidemiologist. Over the past 22 years she has supported implementation and research in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Her education includes Bachelors degrees in anthropology and nursing, and a Masters degree in nurse-midwifery from the University of Pennsylvania. She obtained her PhD in epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University and is currently an Associate in the Department of Epidemiology. She is currently MNH Director at Jhpiego; Co-chair of the NIH-funded B-PROTECTED study, which is studying safety and pharmacokinetics of PrEP and dapivirine ring during breastfeeding in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and South Africa; and Research Director for Jhpiego Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, and Mali sites in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ARC network. Dr. Noguchi has served on WHO Antenatal Care Guidelines, WHO HIV PrEP for Women and Girls, WHO Perinatal Executive Committee Guideline Development Group, and Trans-NIH Plan for HIV-Related Research Women and Girls Planning Group committees. She has published research and commentary in a range of peer-reviewed journals, including Gates Open Research, Birth Defects Research, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, PLoS One, Malaria Journal, AJOG, Journal of Infectious Diseases, The Lancet HIV, The Lancet, and New England Journal of Medicine.
Robin Saggers is a paediatrician who completed his undergraduate and postgraduate training on the Wits circuit. He is currently doing a Fellowship in Neonatology at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. His MMed was in neonatology, specifically: “An analysis of neonates with surgical diagnoses admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.” Robin is an APLS instructor as well as a regular instructor on neonatal resuscitation courses. His interests lie in ventilation and critical care, having completed various critical care courses: BASIC, Beyond BASIC: Mechanical Ventilation and Beyond BASIC: Nephrology, as well as a Workshop on Neonatal Ventilation. He is involved with research within the neonatal unit at Charlotte Maxeke, as well as supervising students and registrars writing research reports. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, water polo and running.
My areas of research and interest revolve around working with children, adolescents, and their significant others (parents, teachers, and peers) across all care settings. In particular, my recent research focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of behavioral interventions to improve psychological functioning for individuals in low-and middle-income countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.