​Research

East Africa​

As part of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the Aga Khan University, the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health, East Africa targets population and public health, health systems strengthening, quality of clinical care, education and research, in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health( RMNCAH) to improve understanding on health and wellbeing in women, adolescents and children.  

The team of researchers includes experts in public health systems research, social science, epidemiology, obstetrics - gynaecology, paediatrics, nursing and midwifery, family medicine, biostatistics and monitoring and evaluation. CoEWCH EA offers a platform for research for students and interested faculty, and provides evidence based information and technical support to national and international governments, civil society, development agencies researchers and other key stakeholders. 

In East Africa, the Centre has engagement in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and is instrumental in strengthening the local capacity in data and knowledge management, research and learning.​


Research Projects

  1. Point of Care Tests in Rural Primary Care Facilities to Improve Access to Antenatal Screening

    Despite centuries of facility based antenatal care provision in rural Africa and increasing rates of antenatal care attendance, many pregnant women still do not access basic antenatal screening tests. Many primary care facilities do not provide antenatal tests (except for HIV) and refer women to off-site laboratories for testing. This results in lower coverage of screening, higher losses to follow up and delay in or failure of initiation of treatment.  

    ​This study aims to assess the integration of a package of point of care testing in facilities that provide antenatal care but do not currently offer recommended screening tests. We will assess how feasible and acceptable this intervention is and whether it results in earlier and wider access to screening tests and timely actions for women with abnormal results. 

    The study will be conducted in collaboration with Kilifi County Department of Health services. The study will be conducted in health facilities in Rabai subcounty of  Kilifi county in coastal Kenya. All public primary care facilities (dispensaries) that offer ANC, have no laboratory and are staffed by at least one nurse will be eligible.     

    This work is supported through Grand Challenges Africa GCA/ISG/Round1/356, a scheme of the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA).​​​


  2. Sexual and Reproductive Health Scoping Study (2018)
    ​​​The AKU’s CoEWCH-EA was contracted by the Canadian High Commission to carry out a scoping study on SRHR in Kenya. This consultancy aimed to: Identify current challenges and issues related to SRHR in Kenya; Map other donor engagements, government programs and private sector investments in SRHR programs in Kenya; Identify and assess current gaps in SRHR programming in Kenya that would align with the Government of Canada’s Feminist international Assistance Policy objectives and with Kenya’s Vision 2030, and; Identify potential partners and initiatives that align well with Canadian objectives, respond to identified needs and complement the Canadian government’s current portfolio in Kenya. The consultancy results recommend differential options and possible partners for potential future SRHR.

  3. Countdown to 2015 for Kenya
    The CoE WCH EA was involved in the Countdown to 2015 for Kenya. This was an in-depth Country Case Study to better understand Kenya’s progress on elements of reproductive, maternal, new-born and child health with relevance to Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 and parts of MDGs 1, 6 and 7.​​

Research Publications

  1. Deliver on Your Own: Disrespectful Maternity Care in rural Kenya​: Adelaide M. Lusambili ,Violet Naanyu,Terrance J. Wade,Lindsay Mossman,Michaela Mantel,Rachel Pell,Angela Ngetich,Kennedy Mulama,Lucy Nyaga,Jerim Obure,Marleen Temmerman

  2. Optimising caesarean section use​:​ Ties Boerma, Carine Ronsmans, Dessalegn Y Melesse, Aluisio J D Barros, Fernando C Barros, Liang Juan, Ann-Beth Moller, Lale Say, Ahmad Reza Hosseinpoor, Mu Yi, Dácio de Lyra Rabello Neto, Marleen Temmerman