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Grand Challenges is a family of initiatives fostering innovation to solve key global health and development problems. Each initiative is an experiment in the use of challenges to focus innovation on making an impact. Individual challenges address some of the same problems, but from differing perspectives.

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Challenges: Mothers and Newborns
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Advanced, Wireless Biosensors with Built-in Clinical Decision Support for Critical Care Monitoring in Hospitalized Newborns

Carol Hiela, University of Cape Town (Cape Town, South Africa)
Feb 1, 2021
Grand Challenges Africa> Mothers and Newborns

Carol Hiela of the University of Cape Town in South Africa will determine whether a new wireless vital signs monitor (ANNETM) is able to collect reliable and accurate measurements of vitals, in a way that is convenient, comfortable and efficient for neonates admitted in ICU, comparable to the hard-wired, standard-of-care monitoring systems.

Amandla Mama: Building Maternal Knowledge and Readiness in the Perinatal Period

Yogan Pillai, Clinton Health Access (Johanesburg, South Africa)
Feb 1, 2021
Grand Challenges Africa> Mothers and Newborns

Yogan Pillai of Clinton Health Access in South Africa will build on work done to address the gaps in knowledge that many pregnant women have in both understanding their pregnancy and the development of the fetus as well as how to navigate the health system.

Clinical Outcomes and Cost-Effectiveness for the Implementation of a Wireless Vital Sign Monitor in Newborns: A Stepped-Wedge Cluster Randomized Trial

Assumpta Nantume, Neopenda (Kampala, Uganda)
Feb 1, 2021
Grand Challenges Africa> Mothers and Newborns

Assumpta Nantume of Neopenda in Uganda examines the clinical impact and cost-effectiveness of a wearable vital signs monitoring system, neoGuard, for critically ill newborns in Kenya where the newborn mortality rate is one of the highest in the world.

Mobile Phone Anger Management Support for Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence During pregnancy (MAP-IPV)

Christine Musyimi, Africa Mental Health Foundation (AMHF) (Nairobi, Kenya)
Feb 1, 2021
Grand Challenges Africa> Mothers and Newborns

Christine Musyimi of Africa Mental Health Foundation in Kenya will aim at reducing Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) among pregnant women through anger management strategies, delivered via mobile phones to potential IPV perpetrators (PIP) in rural Kenya, where resources of mental health specialists are limited.

Nurturing Care for Sick and Small Newborns: Testing a New Cadre of Expert Mother Workers to Improve Care and Child Outcomes

Evrard Nahimana, Partners In Health (Boston, Massachusetts, United States)
Feb 1, 2021
Grand Challenges Africa> Mothers and Newborns

Evrard Nahimana of Partners in Health in Rwanda will test the delivery of a peer-support model using Expert Mothers for the provision of nurturing care to small and sick newborns in 2 district hospitals in Rwanda through a quasi-experimental pre-post design. Efforts to reduce neonatal mortality have included the expansion of care for small and sick newborns, which has the potential to save 1.9 million newborn lives. However, less attention has been paid to increases in developmental disability that occur as children survive the neonatal period with significant morbidity.

Point-of-Need Molecular Diagnostics for Maternal Health with Fibre Mats

Jesse Gitaka, Mount Kenya University (Thika, Kenya)
Feb 1, 2021
Grand Challenges Africa> Mothers and Newborns

Jesse Gitaka of Mount Kenya university in Kenya will employ a strategy that will transfer cutting edge CRISPR-based isothermal nucleic acid analysis technique for diagnosis of CuSTIs (curable sexually transmitted infections) onto fibre mats with smartphone readout enabling on-site pathogen analysis in resource-limited settings enabling prompt treatment alleviating prematurity, stillbirths and neonatal deaths.

Testing an Intervention to Strengthen Male Involvement in Maternal Healthcare

Sally Griffin, ICRH Mozambique (Maputo, Mozambique)
Feb 1, 2021
Grand Challenges Africa> Mothers and Newborns

Sally Griffin of ICRH Mozambique in Mozambique aims to increase the involvement of men in maternal healthcare, by testing a gender- and culture-sensitive intervention to strengthen male involvement in antenatal care in Marracuene district in southern Mozambique.

Towards an African Platform for Congenital Abnormalities and Birth Defects

Ali Sie, Centre de Recherche en Sante de Nouna (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso)
Feb 1, 2021
Grand Challenges Africa> Mothers and Newborns

Ali Sie of the Centre de Recherche en Sante de Nouna in Burkina Faso aims to demonstrate the feasibility of generating (baseline) data on the frequency of congenital anomalies in rural Africa, including on the variability of head circumference measurements, and for the development of first-line laboratory testing for infectious agents related to congenital anomalies.

Using New Genomic Approaches to Investigate Causes of Maternal Sepsis Among Women Delivering in Sub-Saharan Africa

Annettee Nakimuli, Makerere University College of Health Sciences (Kampala, Uganda)
Feb 1, 2021
Grand Challenges Africa> Mothers and Newborns

Annettee Nakimuli of Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Uganda aims at using new genomic approaches to identify pathogens that cause fever (sepsis) among pregnant women. Sepsis is one of the major causes of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality globally, responsible for over 15% of maternal and neonatal deaths.

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View the Grand Challenges partnership network

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.