Maternal and perinatal Health Research collaboration, India (MaatHRI) is a UK-India collaboration for maternal and perinatal health research. MaatHRI means ‘mother’ in Sanskrit. This project is an extension of the pilot initiative called the Indian Obstetric Surveillance and Research System in Assam (IndOSS-Assam) and will expand the research platform from two government tertiary hospitals in the Indian north-eastern state of Assam to fourteen government and private hospitals in four states in India. This collaboration is led by Dr. Manisha Nair from the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU), Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford.

Why is this research collaboration important?

Globally, 303,000 women died in 2015 from preventable complications during pregnancy and childbirth. India has the highest number of maternal deaths of any country. The maternal mortality rate in India is more than 20 times higher than the UK and every year about 45,000 women die in India compared to only 70 in the UK. In addition, about 5 million pregnant women in India suffer a life-threatening complication. Robust studies are needed to investigate the risk factors, management and outcomes of pregnancy complications to inform guidelines and improve policies. NPEU’s work in maternal and perinatal health research has had significant impact in the UK and in other high income countries. The aim of this research collaboration is to translate and adapt this work in India to have a greater impact on improving maternal and perinatal health in the places with the highest burden.

What will this research collaboration do?

MaatHRI aims to create a large and diverse platform for academics and scientists to conduct large-scale epidemiological research to improve maternal and perinatal health in a setting with a high burden of mortality and morbidity. Studies that are critical to informing policies and planning to address new and emerging complications in pregnancy can be quickly and efficiently rolled out through MaatHRI. The resultant new and improved scientific evidence will help policy makers and clinicians in India and globally to develop guidance to improve pregnancy care. The collaborative platform will also be a training platform for students and early career researchers from the UK and India interested in developing skills in conducting research in maternal and perinatal health in a low-to-middle income country setting. MaatHRI could form the basis of many studies well in to the future. 

MaatHRI aims to:

  1. Routinely collect data on the prevalence of known and emerging life-threatening pregnancy complications.
  2. Conduct large epidemiological studies to generate evidence to develop guidance and interventions to prevent deaths.

In the first instance, the research platform will be used to undertake work to improve the clinical management and outcomes of pregnant women with anaemia for which research is clearly indicated.

Work streams

  1. Establishing the MaatHRI platform in 15 public and private hospitals across India
  2. Investigating anaemic heart failure
  3. Examining the safety of induction and augmentation of labour during childbirth in pregnant women with moderate and severe iron deficiency anaemia
  4. Exploring the feasibility of establishing MaatHRI in other states and developing clinical guidance
  5. Scoping follow-up research projects

Funding: Medical Research Council Career Development Fellowship for Manisha Nair and Ultromics Limited.

Updated: Wednesday, 11 September 2019 11:28 (v20)