Trial to reduce maternal deaths due to severe bleeding in Africa and Asia begins

on 04 November 2020 Birth rate

Researchers at the University of Birmingham are starting a trial across 80 hospitals in Africa and Asia which aims to reduce severe bleeding after birth leading to a reduction in maternal deaths.

The hospitals, located in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka, will take part in the trial as part of the E-MOTIVE study which aims to reduce maternal deaths caused by severe bleeding by 25%.

Excessive bleeding following childbirth is one of the leading causes of maternal deaths worldwide but mainly in low and middle-income countries.

Speaking about the trial, Professor of Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine at the University of Birmingham, Arri Coomarasamy, said: “Every six minutes a mother dies from childbirth-related bleeding in low-resource countries, often leaving behind a young family; her newborn infant has less than a 20% chance of surviving past the first month.”

The trial aims to collate necessary evidence to give healthcare professionals and policy-makers the confidence to implement the E-MOTIVE programme to produce a solution to stop mothers dying from bleeding after childbirth.

Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, Dr Ioannis Gallos, said: “Doctors and midwives often do not realise that a woman is bleeding excessively – and thus the woman may not get life-saving treatment in time. The longer the delay in detection and treatment of the excessive bleeding, the greater the risk of her life being lost.”

Mothers in the UK have access to high quality maternity care and receive tried and tested methods for dealing with severe bleeding and are applied rapidly.

In low and middle-income countries delayed detection and inconsistent treatment makes excessive bleeding dangerous.

By developing a package of care to diagnose bleeding early, outcomes for women in these countries will improve and can make a difference between life and death.

“Easy-to-implement interventions, that could be critical, are inconsistently used. Our programme intends to change practice so that women get the right treatment at the right time,” Dr Ioannis Gallos adds.

The E-MOTIVE trial is being led by Professor Arri Coomarasamy, a renowned Professor of Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine and the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Women’s Health, and Dr Ioannis Gallos, Senior Clinical Lecturer.

The study is being supported by the Institute of Global Innovation of the University of Birmingham and has been awarded $10.9 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

More information can be found on the University of Birmingham website here.