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HJFMRI Receives Grant to Research COVID-19 Impact on Pregnant Women and Newborns

HJFMRI Receives Grant to Research COVID-19 Impact on Pregnant Women and Newborns

PR Newswire

KISUMU, Kenya, Aug. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- HJF Medical Research International (HJFMRI), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF), was awarded $1.3M by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care in the Kenya Child Health and Mortality Surveillance (CHAMPS) and Antenatal/Postnatal Research Collective (ARC) network. This cutting-edge research addresses current antenatal and postnatal COVID-19 research gaps in understanding the burden of COVID-19 in pregnant women and newborns, associated risk factors, and associated maternal morbidity and mortality in Western Kenya.

This study precedes the ARC network study, a four-year initiative aimed at improving antenatal care and postnatal care through risk stratification and reducing maternal and infant mortality. ARC is also funded by the Gates Foundation through a collaborative effort between multiple governmental and non-governmental organizations. COVID-19 surveillance will be implemented as a precursor to the full implementation of the ARC study. This study monitors the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy and newborns' outcomes, with additional considerations of maternal anemia and co-infection with HIV, tuberculosis or malaria. The study also looks at the birth outcomes and the health of infants born to individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 and the rate, or possibility, of transmission to the child.

"Determining the likelihood of adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with maternal COVID-19 is an essential and urgent matter at this time, and HJFMRI is proud to support the study in the CHAMPS and ARC platforms to determine this likelihood," said HJF President and CEO Joseph Caravalho, M.D. "The research will help medical communities understand the risks—and potential methods to mitigate those risks—for infected mothers and their newborns."

The ARC study will take place in 2020 and 2021 in Kisumu and Siaya counties in Western Kenya. The three major referral facilities are Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kisumu County Referral Hospital, and Siaya County Referral Hospital.

The CHAMPS Network was established to develop a long-term network of high-quality sites to collect robust and standardized longitudinal data with to assist in understanding and tracking preventable causes of childhood death globally. The CHAMPS Network's goal—to provide accurate and timely data for decision-making on the causes of stillbirths and deaths among children under age 5—provides answers to support the goal of reducing child deaths in lower-resource countries. This new research enables CHAMPS to investigate risks to women and children in relation to COVID-19.


HJFMRI is a wholly owned nonprofit subsidiary of HJF. HJFMRI also provides support services in program operations, sub-award management, regulatory compliance, technology enhancement and necessary manpower including scientific and technical leadership and, administrative and logistical support. Working side-by-side with medical researchers from across the globe, HJFMRI provides a wide range of services that facilitate basic research, scientific trials, clinical care, training, capacity-building, facility management and more. From mentoring small entities to managing large consortiums, we partner with the medical community, academia and private industry to pursue the most advanced research.  

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SOURCE Henry M Jackson Foundation For The Advancement Of Military Medicine

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