‘Survive, Thrive and Transform’ was the theme of this year’s International Child Health Group (ICHG) Winter meeting, which was held at Alderhey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool on 19th November 2018. Prof Matthews Mathai, Chair in Maternal and Newborn Health and Dr Helen Nabwera, Senior Clinical Research Associate in Neonatology at the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health, were among the speakers who were invited to present at the event. ICHG is a specialty group of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health: http://www.internationalchildhealthgroup.org/.
During his presentation, Prof Mathai gave a global overview and highlighted how maternal health is too often neglected: ‘Women are not ‘containers’ for babies, which is too often how they are treated.’
Dr Helen Nabwera spoke about a new project which aims to test a novel package of community-based interventions to help newborns at high risk of death. These interventions include support with breast feeding and addressing the stigma that they face for having a small baby in communities, where historically many have not survived.
Following the conference, Dr Nabwera commented:
“For me it was a great privilege to be giving a talk on work that I am developing to an audience that consisted of many individuals who had supported and enabled me to pursue a career in global health research- right from my days in medical school in Nottingham (Dr David Curnock), registrar training in Paediatrics the West Midlands deanery (Dr Mandy Goldstein, Dr Deepthi Jyothish), my PhD in LSHTM (Prof Joy Lawn and Dr Queen Dube), to my time in Liverpool (Prof Matthews Mathai, Prof Steve Allen, Dr Melissa Gladstone, and Dr Andrew Riordan).
Addressing neonatal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa is a key global health priority and progress continues to lag well behind other regions of the world. My work proposes to address the challenge of socio-economic inequalities in access to care for low birth weight infants in rural communities in Western Kenya by developing community-based interventions to improve their survival and long-term outcomes. We discussed the limitations of the work that I am developing including the challenge of ensuring that this was a sustainable strategy. Key to this work and the theme of the conference was to ensure that parents/carers are stakeholders in the development of health interventions.”
You can read more about Helen’s work here: https://www.lstmed.ac.uk/research/research-career-progression/director%E2%80%99s-catalyst-fund/helen-nabwera