Category: Child Health

Supporting midwives in The Gambia to save the lives of mothers and children

5 May 2017 marked the International Day of the Midwife. Recognising the important role that midwives play to families and mothers, the day was first established in 1992. Midwives endure rigorous training to ensure that they can provide quality care for those in need. The level of skills amongst midwives however, can vary across the world.

March 2017 saw the arrival of Dr Beverly Donaldson, her midwifery colleagues Maggie Welch and Judith Robbins and paediatrician Dr Anna Battersby from Imperial College London/Imperial NHS Trust to facilitate the third midwifery training programme at the MRC Fajara The Gambia. The aim of the training was to support local midwives in their clinical practice by teaching them the necessary skills to manage basic obstetric emergencies in order to save the lives of mothers and babies in their care.

Mums step up to make vaccines work at all ages – even before their babies are born!

By Dr Beth Holder and Professor Beate Kampmann Paediatrics, Centre for International Child Health, Imperial College London

The great success of vaccination during pregnancy

Pregnancy. For millions of women and their partners, discovering that they are expecting a baby is a very exciting time. However, it can also be a quite stressful time; suddenly there are lots of things to think about. There’s the fun stuff – wondering whether you are having a boy or a girl, thinking about baby names and buying first items of tiny baby clothes. Then there’s the more serious stuff- thinking about a birth plan, and suddenly having to attend several doctor and hospital appointments.

Autism: A global framework for action

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) represents a group of lifelong neurodevelopmental disorders emerging during early childhood and interfering with a person’s ability to socially relate to and interact with others.

As of 2010, there were an estimated 52 million cases of ASD worldwide, representing a substantial increase over the past 40 years. Meanwhile, the economic impact of ASD in the United States (US) alone – based on direct medical, direct non-medical and productivity costs – reached an estimated $268 billion in 2015, a figure that is expected to rise to $461 billion by 2025.  ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders also affect the quality of life of those with the conditions, as well as of their families and caregivers.

Life after miscarriage – one year on

By guest blogger, Alex, from That Butterfly Effect to mark Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on Saturday 15th October 

The 6th October marked a rather sad day for me and for my little family. On this day in 2015, I was admitted to hospital for a procedure called ERPC which stands for Evacuation of Retained Products of Conception and means a surgical removal of the remains of a pregnancy. It was a day that I had never thought I would ever have to experience and yet it happened to us. Just as it happens to more than one in five pregnancies in the UK every year – around a quarter of a million each year…

This second pregnancy started off wonderfully well, just as the first one.

FEAST – five years on

By Professor Kathryn Maitland, Director of the IGHI Centre of African Research and Engagement

First published by the Hippocratic Post on 22/8/16.

Professor Kathryn Maitland

‘Back in 2011, my research team published the results of the largest trial of critically ill children ever undertaken in Africa (FEAST trial), a trial that examined fluid resuscitation strategies in children with severe febrile illnesses (including malaria and bacterial sepsis). Contrary to expectation, the trial showed that fluid boluses were associated with an increased mortality compared to no-bolus (control), the greatest effect was in children with the most severe forms of shock. We were delighted when the FEAST trial won the prestigious 2011 BMJ Research Paper of the Year award and expected that doctors around the world would sit up and take notice – and guidelines for management of children suffering from shock due to sepsis would change.

International Youth Day, plenty of reasons to celebrate

By Professor Beate Kampmann, Professor of Paediatrics and Director of IGHI’s Centre for International Child Health (CICH)

August 12 is International Youth Day.

This special day was created by the United Nations in 1999 to recognise efforts of the world’s youth in enhancing global society.

The theme of this year has been put forward by the UN as “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Production and Consumption”.  In my opinion this theme sets out an over-ambitious agenda, and many of our International Youth might feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities it implies.  It represents a far-reaching goal, not only for “Youth”, defined as 15-24 year olds, but for people of all ages.