MSFHR Scholar’s project receives $7M to reduce maternal, fetal and newborn deaths

3 December 2010

A project underway by 2006 MSFHR Senior Scholar Dr. Peter von Dadelszen, co-director of the Reproduction & Healthy Pregnancy research cluster at the Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI), and associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in The University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine, has earned UBC a $7 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Researchers on the project will test new strategies for the monitoring, prevention and treatment of pre-eclampsia, the most serious hypertensive (high blood pressure) disorder, which complicates five to 10 percent of pregnancies and can lead to serious maternal and fetal illness or death. It is also the second leading cause of maternal death worldwide, resulting in up to 76,000 maternal deaths each year.

“That translates into the death of one mother every seven minutes, and 99 percent of these deaths occur in lower- and middle-income countries,” says von Dadelszen.

The $7-million grant from the Gates Foundation will support a four-year international research and community-level intervention project called PRE-eclampsia-Eclampsia Monitoring, Prevention and Treatment (PREEMPT). Led by von Dadelszen, the team, consisting of researchers, physicians and community health professionals from Canada, the US, Africa, Asia, Oceania, the UK and the World Health Organization, will study, develop and implement a set of clinical guidelines tailored for lower- and middle-income countries.

Dr. von Dadelszen is a 2006 MSFHR Senior Scholar and also a co-leader of a 2005 MSFHR Health Services and Policy Research Support Network operating grant, entitled, “An Integrated Approach to Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy” and leader of the 2003 Research Unit "Centre for Healthcare Innovation and Improvement".