Building Research Capacity to Accelerate Scientific Discovery
“Harmonization between researchers and study sites around the world creates the type of synergy that we need to solve these persistent global health problems.”— Vishwajeet Kumar, founder and CEO, Community Empowerment Lab I Shivgarh, Lucknow, India
“To accelerate the pace of scientific discovery, researchers must have access to high-quality clinical and biological information from pregnant women and newborns globally, particularly from the regions that have the highest rates of prematurity and stillbirth.” – Amber Sexton, GAPPS Repository Manager
Preterm birth is the leading cause of newborn deaths worldwide. Babies born before 37 weeks of gestation are at an increased risk for infections and cerebral palsy, as well as respiratory, vision, hearing and developmental problems. Add to this an astounding 2.6 million stillbirths each year, most in low- and middle-income countries. And in 42% of these cases, the mother also dies — yet the causes, solutions and burdens of preterm birth and stillbirth remain poorly understood or completely unknown.
We urgently need better data and tools to understand and prevent adverse birth outcomes, especially in the developing world.
Under a grant from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, GAPPS developed a research capacity assessment tool that was tested in India and Bangladesh; it is currently being used in The Gambia, Kenya and Thailand. Working with partners in countries with high rates of prematurity and stillbirth helps to establish a research infrastructure that will lead to the development of appropriate interventions and treatments. GAPPS provides technical expertise and consultation by: