IN A FETAL AND NEWBORN GROWTH RESEARCH STUDY
Coastweek — The University of Oxford has collaborated with the Aga Khan University,Nairobi to establish a centre in Africa for an international study of fetal and newborn growth.
This “Intergrowth – 21st” project will create a worldwide database of the growth and health pattern of babies before and after birth.
This project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and coordinated by Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the University of Oxford.
The aim of this international fetal and newborn growth consortium research study is to understand early growth across healthy populations from diverse geographical and racial backgrounds, to generate new knowledge for better health and nutrition throughout life.
Over 5,000 participants will be selected worldwide to take part in this international health research study which will be conducted simultaneously in eight different countries
The centres for the intergrowth – 21st project are based in Kenya, Brazil, China, Cuba, Italy, Oxford, U.S.A. and Oman.
The final results of this project will be rolled out globally to health institutions for use by 2014.
Dr. Maria Carvalho, an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Aga Khan UniversityHospital, Nairobi, explained, “We are proud to be the only University and Hospital in Africa to be selected to take part in this worldwide milestone of health research.
“The Hospital will make this project a success by using our highly skilled professionals and latest technology.”
“Currently, fetal growth is assessed by comparing ultrasound measurements of the head and abdominal circumference of the unborn baby with reference charts obtained from the growth of a small number of fetuses from selected hospitals.
“Most of these graphs were obtained fromUSA and Europe.
“These statistics were not appropriate for use internationally because of the geographically diverse populations.”
“The Intergrowth – 21st research study is unique because of its size and capacity to study healthy mothers and babies in eight countries representing different continents.
“We hope that this research will shed light on the growth pattern of healthy unborn babies and newborns across the world which can be used to draw up new graphs internationally on how babies should grow.”
Talking about the selection of participants, Dr. Carvalho explained, “Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi will register 550 women for this project. Women should be between the age of 18 and 25 and healthy.
“Health requirements include regular menstrual cycles, and a pregnancy age of less than 13 weeks.”
“Women who decide to take part in this fetal and newborn growth research study at Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, will not be charged for ultrasound scans.
“It will be very important to have babies of these mothers born at the Hospital so that we can continue with the project which also involves follow ups of newborns up to the age of eight months.”
Commenting on the confidentiality of the project, Dr. Carvalho, said, “The information on the pregnant mothers and newborn babies taking part in this study will be handled by members of the research team who have a duty of confidentiality.
“The study has been authorized by the University’s Research Ethics Committee.”
“The findings of the research will be held anonymously in a database to which only the authorized research team at Aga KhanUniversity Hospital, Nairobi and the Universityof Oxford will have access.
source – coastweek