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Completed research activities

Pregnancy programme

UNICEF Caring for the Caregiver: the design, development and pilot testing of a foundational training for low literacy frontline workers to encourage self-care, family engagement and social support in the first 1000 days

Principal Investigator Rochat

200 px wideThe UNICEF/World Health Organisation (WHO) training package Care for Child Development (CCD) was developed to train caregivers to deliver responsive caregiving and early stimulation in order to improve child development. It has been widely adapted and successfully implemented in many low resource settings. The success of CCD, like many packages of its kind, is largely dependent on the primary caregiver’s capacity. This includes physical, psychological and social capacity to care for both themselves and for their child. In high adversity there many barriers to a caregiver’s capacity to provide care. We developed a complementary package to CCD and other maternal and child health sector trainings that was suited to low literacy communities (including a series of illustrated job aids) and suitable for task shifting to frontline workers to provide them with the skills to respond to the needs of the caregiver. The module translates well-established evidence on maternal mental health into practical activities which can be used to support caregivers and their families. It was developed for the UNICEF West and Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO) through a series of consultations and pilot training activities in two countries: Mali and Sierra Leone.

Soweto First 1000 Days Cohort

Principal Investigator Norris

This cohort study recruited 1000 women early in pregnancy and collected comprehensive health and mental health data along with biological samples five times during pregnancy and at delivery to examine the effects of maternal nutrition and health on foetal growth and birth outcomes.

GDM screening and prevalence study

Principal Investigators Macaulay and Norris

GDM is of concern to the NCD health agenda in South Africa because it results in greater foetal central adiposity, and over 45% of women with GDM convert to type II diabetes within 5 years post-partum. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) amongst black South African women, describe GDM-associated risk factors and clinical management, and evaluate the efficacy of the fasting plasma glucose reading in diagnosing GDM. Over 3000 random pregnant women were recruited with 1906 women completing a two-hour 75g oral glucose tolerance test at 24-28 weeks’ gestation.

Feasibility and validity study of GDM point-of-care screening and testing in community clinics

Principal Investigators Dickson and Norris

In this cross-sectional study we investigated the clinical and analytic accuracy of five plasma calibrated glucometers, the use of which is advocated by the World Health Organisation and the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, to screen for and diagnose GDM in low resource settings.

Analysing a case history collection of over 2000 GDM women treated since 2007 at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto

Principal Investigators Nicolaou and Soepnel

In this clinical case study, all clinical data from case files were captured and analysed to report on clinical management outcomes of GDM pregnant women.