Oxford Maternal & Perinatal Health Institute (OMPHI)
The institute was founded in 2009 under the aegis of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford.
It is currently running 4 large, global studies involving over 350 researchers from a wide range of countries.
The Oxford Maternal & Perinatal Health Institute (OMPHI) works alongside the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology - bringing together world experts to resolve priority maternal and perinatal health problems on a global scale.
what we do
We engage medical researchers, social scientists and health management experts in some of the major issues affecting the health of mothers and newborn babies, particularly in resource-poor settings.
Our research focuses on fetal growth and nutrition and the effects of infection (e.g.malaria) in pregnancy; initiatives aimed at developing e-learning programmes in developing countries, and surveys of healthcare providers in resource-poor settings to identify barriers to implementing effective interventions in pregnancy. Our studies are funded by:
MHTF is a project of the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health which works to create a strong, well-informed and integrated community with equitable access to high-quality technical evidence to eliminate preventable maternal mortality and morbidity worldwide. MHTF is led by Ana Langer, a physician specializing in pediatrics and neonatology and a reproductive health expert.
OMPHI also works with The Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research on various joint initiatives. GFMER is a non-profit organisation established in 2002. It is supported by the Republic and Canton of Geneva, the Department of Social Affairs of the City of Geneva and other Swiss and international institutions. The Foundation works in close collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). GFMER is a WHO Collaborating Centre in Education and Research in Human Reproduction. The overall objectives of the Foundation are to furnish health education and research programmes that can be applied by developing countries, and countries in economic transition, and to establish collaboration between entities from the public and private sectors. See more
An International Fetal and Newborn Growth Consortium dedicated to improving perinatal health through the development of new fetal and newborn growth standards, providing tools for the continuity of care from conception to 5 years of age. It is a global, multidisciplinary network of more than 300 researchers and clinicians from 27 institutions in 18 countries worldwide, coordinated from the University of Oxford. It was launched in 2008 by José Villar & Stephen Kennedy to challenge the assumption that babies inherently grow differently around the world. The project is the largest, population‐based, prospective study of fetal and newborn growth and development ever conducted, involving nearly 60,000 mothers and babies. See more
The INTERBIO-21st Study is an extension to the INTERGROWTH-21st Project. The study aims to improve the phenotypic characterisation of the fetal growth restriction/small for gestational age (FGR/SGA) and preterm birth syndromes at molecular, biochemical and clinical levels so as to develop better strategies to correct the effects of an adverse intrauterine environment.The study is initially focusing on the effects of nutrition on fetal growth and development in healthy and complicated pregnancies from seven different populations worldwide by using epigenetic profiling of cord blood and placental tissues to understand better the causes of the FGR/SGA and preterm birth syndromes. The populations being studied have very different risk profiles as they include some women in resource-poor settings at high risk for FGR/SGA and preterm delivery because of malnutrition and/or infection (HIV and malaria). Standardised information about pregnancy outcomes and anthropometric measurements are also being collected using tools developed in the INTERGROWTH-21stProject.
INTERBIO-21st has two components: the Fetal and Neonatal Studies. In the Fetal Study, which is limited to certain settings, women are being monitored from early pregnancy onwards so as to capture very detailed information about fetal growth patterns; in the Neonatal Study, women are identified at birth provided that gestational age has been confirmed by ultrasound < 24 weeks’ gestation. See more
global voices for maternal health
This study surveyed over 2,300 healthcare providers in the developing world to fulfill two aims: firstly, to identify barriers to the implementation of evidence-based interventions in maternal health, and secondly to source solutions to overcome these barriers.
Simple, effective and affordable interventions have been shown to reduce the maternal mortality rate to less than 1 in 10,000, yet every year over half a million women still die in pregnancy or childbirth; 99% of these deaths occur in the developing world. The survey, unprecedented in its scale, sought the perspectives of, and pragmatic input from over 2,300 healthcare providers in the developing world, deepening the involvement of those on the frontline of the global fight to reduce maternal mortality and strengthening their voices on the international stage.
To improve understanding of where future efforts of the global community should be focused, we asked doctors, nurses and midwives across Africa, Asia and Latin America to identify the specific barriers preventing them from implementing these interventions. Furthermore, new internet-based communication strategies developed in the corporate sector were utilised to stimulate innovative thinking amongst respondents, asking for their solutions to barriers based on local experience and expertise.
This major departure from traditional approaches to the problems represents an opportunity to kick-start a revolution in the local provision of evidence-based, maternal healthcare, delivering solutions and progress in months, not decades.
The OMPHI International fellowship is awarded to fellows to develop specific skills relevant to the field of global Maternal & Perinatal Health.