Maternal, Child and Reproductive Health

Maternal, Child and Reproductive Health

It is estimated that 300,000 women died in 2015 as a result of complications before, during or after birth. Furthermore, despite a considerable reduction in mortality among children under five, the probability that a child will die in the first few days of life is still extremely high (in 2015, some 5.9 million children under 5 years of age died, 45% of them during the first month of life). Since most of these maternal and infant deaths are preventable and occur in developing countries, this situation represents the greatest inequality in global health today. Millennium Development Goal 5 (improve maternal health) was the least successful of the eight goals in the blueprint that ended in December 2015.

At ISGlobal, our research focuses mainly on five key areas: identifying the primary causes of maternal and infant mortality in low-income countries, where the lack of reliable information limits the design of appropriate health strategies; improving and expanding strategies for the prevention and control of malaria in pregnant women because of the increased risk of death from the disease in this population; studying the impact of HIV co-infections; evaluating the effectiveness of maternal immunisation for vaccine-preventable diseases; and finally, determining the effectiveness of human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination programmes in adolescent girls in terms of preventing cervical cancer, a disease that causes 275,000 deaths a year and mainly affects developing countries.

Main Lines of Research

  • Malaria in pregnancy
  • Determination of causes of death in low-income countries
  • Pharmacovigilance studies of antiretroviral and antimalarial drugs in pregnant women
  • Operational research on the acceptability and feasibility of introducing an HPV vaccination programme for preadolescent girls in Africa
  • Effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on maternal and child health
  • Cervical cancer
  • Maternal immunisation
  • Zika virus infection during pregnancy

Our Team


  • Clara Menéndez
    Clara Menéndez Research Professor, Director of the Maternal, Child and Reproductive Health Initiative and Programme

Our Team

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Highlighted Projects


Continued validation of the minimally invasive autopsy for the investigation of the causes of death in infants, and establishment of a research and training center to study causes of death


Transforming IPT for optimal pregnancy


Improving Maternal and Infant Health by reducing malaria risks in African women: evaluation of the safety and efficacy of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine for intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in HIV-infected pregnant women

ICARIA project logo


Improving Care through Azithromycin Research for Infants in Africa

MIBio project


Identification of Prematurity and Pre-Eclampsia as Causes of Mortality

STREESCO project


Strengthening Epidemiological Surveillance in Benin and Burkina Faso for an Effective Response to COVID-19


MULTIple doses of IPTi Proposal: a Lifesaving high Yield intervention


Prevalence and impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on maternal and infant health in African populations

IPERVAC-SL project


Impact of perceptions of COVID-19 vaccines on health-seeking behaviours in Sierra Leone


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in African pregnant women and children


Towards preparedness for new maternal vaccinations: Understanding barriers and facilitators to maternal vaccine acceptance

Other projects

See Past Projects


Measuring community prevalence among HIV exposed children in rural Southern Mozambique