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Professor Andrew Weeks: “The centre will address clinical research into the conditions and diseases that pregnant women face in the UK and overseas”
The Department of Women’s and Children’s Health at the University of Liverpool has been made a World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre, focusing on maternity care worldwide and international clinical trials.
The Centre will build on the current research of the department, such as clinical trials work in the UK, Uganda and India. Work in these areas includes a study on techniques for treating placentas that are not expelled after childbirth. This can cause bleeding and even death in some parts of the world.
Areas with few healthcare resources
Researchers at the Centre will continue to collaborate with the World Health Organisation on developing techniques to assist women in areas with few healthcare resources. A study on a drug called Misoprostol, used to start labour and to treat bleeding after childbirth, is subject of two clinical trials, run by the new Centre to investigate its benefits for pregnant women in Uganda and India.
Professor Andrew Weeks, from the University’s Institute of Translational Medicine and Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre, said: “Collaborative work with the World Health Organisation is essential in developing new treatments and improving the quality of care of women and children across the globe. It will enable us to build on our international network of experts in supporting clinical trials in some of the poorest areas of the world.
“The University’s Sanyu Research Unit, based at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, will form part of the new Centre, addressing clinical research into the conditions and diseases that pregnant women face in the UK and overseas.”
Another key role of the new Centre is to produce systematic reviews that inform important WHO initiatives in maternity care world-wide. This work is carried out by the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group, which is supported by the University and Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust. The group, funded by the UK Department of Health, manages the portfolio of around 600 reviews and supports the work of authors from more than 45 countries.
Independent and trustworthy evidence
Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, said: “Health policy-makers across the world need independent and trustworthy evidence on which to build their health policies and WHO Collaborating Centres are a crucial resource that help us address this need. I am glad that we have a new partner at the University of Liverpool; it will benefit the health of mothers and children in all countries.”
The WHO Collaborating Centre was officially launched at the first Global Women’s Research Society Conference in Liverpool, which brought together more than 150 researchers from around the world to share the latest developments in women’s health care.
For further information on WHO collaborating centres, click here
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