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​Understanding Extreme Heat Effects on Maternal, Fetal, and Newborn Health


The Principal Investigator for this project is Dr. Jai Das, Assistant Director of the Institute for Global Health and Development at Aga Khan University. Dr. Zainab Samad, a Professor & Chair in the Department of Medicine at Aga Khan University, and Dr. Lumaan Sheikh, Associate Professor & Chair in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Aga Khan University, join as Co-Principal Investigators alongside Dr. Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Distinguished University Professor & Founding Director of the Institute for Global Health and Development.​


​Project Aims:

This Wellcome Trust-funded initiative investigates the biological vulnerability and effects of extreme heat exposure on maternal, fetal, and newborn health. By analyzing existing clinical data and conducting a prospective cohort study, the project seeks to unravel the complex pathways linking extreme heat to adverse health outcomes.



  • ​Understand the biological effects of heat exposure on pregnancy and birth outcomes.
  • Evaluate direct and indirect biological pathways impacted by heat stress during pregnancy, considering factors such as gestational age.
  • Examine the combined effects of heat events, demographics, work during pregnancy, household air pollution, and undernutrition on maternal/fetal/newborn health.

Planned Activities:

  1. ​Analysis of Existing Data and Biological Repositories: Utilize consortium expertise, datasets, and laboratory specimens to establish linked cohorts, exploring the relationship between heat exposure and pregnancy complications, including stillbirths, preterm births, and perinatal mortality.
  2. Prospective Two-Centre Cohort Study: Conduct a population-based birth cohort study, studying environmental heat measurements, physiological changes during pregnancy, fetal growth, and birth outcomes, with a focus on rural and peri-urban populations in Pakistan.

Supported By/Associated Grant:

This project is supported by the funding from Wellcome Trust.



More About the Project/Related Content:

(News articles, Publications, Research Papers, videos, images)


News Image 1

Experts discuss the im​pact of health and climate change in Pakistan

News Image 2

Challenges of climate change, health, and nutrition in Pakistan

News Image 3

Experts raise the alarm on growing water insecurity in Pakistan


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Global strategies and local implementation of health and health-related SDGs: lessons from consultation in countries across five regions 

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What will it take to implement health and health-related sustainable development goals? | ​​​​​​​​



Event Image 1

Climate Change and Health: Impact of Extreme Heat on Women and Children & Possible Solutions​​


Event Image 2

Climate Change and Water-related Challenges in Pakistan: Tangible Solutions​​​


Event Image 3

Pakistan’s Challenges of Climate Change, Health, and Nutrition​​​​