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J Glob Health. 2016 Jun;6(1):010508. doi: 10.7189/jogh.06.010508.

Setting research priorities to improve global newborn health and prevent stillbirths by 2025.

Author information

1
Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
2
Centre for Intervention Science in Maternal and Child Health, Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Norway.
3
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK ; Saving Newborn Lives, Save the Children, Washington, USA.
4
Saving Newborn Lives, Save the Children, Washington, USA.
5
Department of Social Medicine, Ribeirăo Preto School of Medicine, University of Săo Paulo, Brazil.
6
Centre for Population Health Sciences and Global Health Academy, The University of Edinburgh Medical School, Scotland, UK.
7
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.
8
Bandim Health Project, Indepth Network, Guinea-Bissau.
9
Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, Sudan.
10
Kathmandu Medical College, Nepal.
11
Department of Pediatrics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.
12
Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh.
13
Department of Neonatology Paropakar Maternity and women's Hospital, Nepal.
14
TRAction Bangladesh Project, University Research Co., LLC.
15
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA.
16
Centro de Pesquisas Epidemiológicas, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Brazil.
17
Research Center for Vitamins and Vaccines, Statens Serum Institut, and University of Southern Denmark/Odense University Hospital, Denmark.
18
Program in Perinatal Research, Yale University School of Medicine, USA.
19
Pediatric Biology Centre, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, India.
20
University of Aberdeen, UK.
21
Center of Excellence in Women and Child Health, the Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.
22
Institute of International Programs, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA.
23
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK.
24
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, USA.
25
Thrasher Research Fund, USA.
26
Department of Neonatology, Charité University Medical Center, Germany.
27
University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.
28
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Campinas, Brazil.
29
Departments of Pediatrics, Pharmacology & Surgery, University of Alberta, Canada.
30
Charities, USA.
31
University College London Institute for Global Health, UK.
32
Perinatology Research Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/National Institutes of Health/Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland and Detroit, Michigan, USA.
33
Independent consultant maternal health research, Rwanda.
34
Foundation for the Community Control of Hereditary Diseases, Hungary.
35
Biostatistics and Epidemiology, RTI International, USA.
36
LAMB Integrated Rural Health & Development, Bangladesh.
37
Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases National Institute of Health, USA.
38
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India.
39
Pediatrics and Neonatology, Yıldırım Beyazıt University Medical Faculty, Turkey.
40
Nuffield Department of Medicine & Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, UK and KEMRi-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Nairobi, Kenya.
41
Newborn Health, Family Health Division, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the University of North Carolina Schools of Medicine and Public Health, USA.
42
Moi University, School of Medicine, Kenya.
43
International Paediatric Epidemiology; Affiliations: Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, UK.
44
Department of Pediatrics, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, USA.
45
School of Medicine, Child Health and Pediatrics, Moi University, Kenya.
46
Children's Hospital, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Pakistan.
47
Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD Neonatal Research Network, Pregnancy and Perinatology, Branch, National Institute of Health, USA.
48
Centre for Midwifery, Child and Family Health, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
49
University of Bergen and Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norway.
50
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Bangladesh.
51
Save the Children, USA.
52
Zomba Central Hospital, Ministry of Health, Malawi.
53
Saint Louis University, USA.
54
Paediatrics and Head of Department Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College, Bangladesh.
55
Centre for Pharmacoepidemiology, Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
56
Departments of Pediatrics and of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University Faculty of Medicine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
57
Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS), USA.
58
University of Manchester School of Nursing Midwifery & Social Work, University of Manchester, UK.
59
Indonesian Midwives Association, Indonesia.
60
Save the Children, Malawi.
61
Department of Paediatrics, Dalhousie University, Canada.
62
Departments of Paediatrics & Physiology, University of Toronto; Physiology & Experimental Medicine program, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.
63
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Academic Medical Centre Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
64
Paediatrics and Child Health, College of Medicine Malawi.
65
International Baby Food Action Network, Uganda.
66
STRIDES for Family Health, Management Sciences for Health, Uganda.
67
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK.
68
Kampala Children's Hospital Limited and Childhealth Advocacy International, Uganda.
69
United States Agency for International Development /Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program, USA.
70
Centre for Healthy Start Initiative, Nigeria.
71
Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science, Institute for Global Health, University College London, UK.
72
University of Tubingen, Germany.
73
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development National Institutes of Health, USA.
74
Center for American Indian Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA.
75
Save the Children, Bangladesh.
76
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, USA.
77
University of Calgary, Canada.
78
Environmental Health Science Department, University of Georgia, USA.
79
Tropical Epidemiology Group, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK.
80
Department of Pediatrics & Child Health, Women & Child Health Division, Aga Khan University, Pakistan.
81
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, USA.
82
National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Bangladesh.
83
Kinshasa School of Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
84
Department of Neonatology, University of Utrecht, the Netherlands.
85
Institute for Global Health Technologies Rice University, USA.
86
Division of Global Health, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
87
School of Medical Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Australia and School of Public Health, Capital Medical University, China.
88
Save the Children UK.
89
Aga Khan University, Pakistan.
90
Department of Integrated Early Childhood Development, Capital Institute of Paediatrics, China.
91
Developmental Genetics Laboratory, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, USA.
92
Médecins sans Frontičres, Belgium.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In 2013, an estimated 2.8 million newborns died and 2.7 million were stillborn. A much greater number suffer from long term impairment associated with preterm birth, intrauterine growth restriction, congenital anomalies, and perinatal or infectious causes. With the approaching deadline for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015, there was a need to set the new research priorities on newborns and stillbirth with a focus not only on survival but also on health, growth and development. We therefore carried out a systematic exercise to set newborn health research priorities for 2013-2025.

METHODS:

We used adapted Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) methods for this prioritization exercise. We identified and approached the 200 most productive researchers and 400 program experts, and 132 of them submitted research questions online. These were collated into a set of 205 research questions, sent for scoring to the 600 identified experts, and were assessed and scored by 91 experts.

RESULTS:

Nine out of top ten identified priorities were in the domain of research on improving delivery of known interventions, with simplified neonatal resuscitation program and clinical algorithms and improved skills of community health workers leading the list. The top 10 priorities in the domain of development were led by ideas on improved Kangaroo Mother Care at community level, how to improve the accuracy of diagnosis by community health workers, and perinatal audits. The 10 leading priorities for discovery research focused on stable surfactant with novel modes of administration for preterm babies, ability to diagnose fetal distress and novel tocolytic agents to delay or stop preterm labour.

CONCLUSION:

These findings will assist both donors and researchers in supporting and conducting research to close the knowledge gaps for reducing neonatal mortality, morbidity and long term impairment. WHO, SNL and other partners will work to generate interest among key national stakeholders, governments, NGOs, and research institutes in these priorities, while encouraging research funders to support them. We will track research funding, relevant requests for proposals and trial registers to monitor if the priorities identified by this exercise are being addressed.

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