14 July 2017

INFANT Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research

2015

INFANT (the Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research) commits to support the implementation of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030) by continuing to advance our research and innovation in perinatal healthcare, thereby addressing the most common complications of pregnancy and most significant problems for newborn babies. INFANT recognizes that maternal and perinatal complications, which account for almost 10% of the global burden of disease, are disproportionately experienced in developing countries. INFANT will help to address this inequality through pioneering innovation in next generation devices that will transform antenatal and neonatal healthcare and service delivery.

INFANT is committed to translating our innovations into affordable, accessible and robust interventions (such as a chip-based screening test in early pregnancy for pre-eclampsia) that will reduce dependence on expensive technology and scarce human resources and expertise. This will have greatest impact in low resource settings where the burden of disease is highest. INFANT has made specific commitments for the next four years, including funding equipment for neonatal seizure detection and treatment in a low resource setting and will directly fund the doctoral research on pre-eclampsia of a low-income country researcher, thus promoting knowledge exchange and capacity building.

Commitment Progress

INFANT remains on track to fulfill its longer term commitments to advancing the goals for the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health. Over 2016 , we have made progress in translating our innovations into affordable, accessible and robust interventions (such as a chip-based screening test in early pregnancy for pre-eclampsia, and neonatal seizure detection in low resource settings) that will reduce dependence on expensive technology and scarce human resources and expertise. We have made progress on a range of translational projects in the following areas with a view of deploying innovations to clinical use in the medium term – pregnancy, birth, newborn health, child health, mother’s health post pregnancy. We have also established a formal collaborative research partnership with the Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute in Moshi, Tanzania with a view to:

  • Facilitate knowledge exchange for our engineers and scientists who will gain first-hand practical experience of the challenges of translating cutting edge devices and diagnostics into low fidelity clinical arenas.
  • Offer education and training opportunities for Tanzanian researchers in an array of multidisciplinary areas pertinent to maternal and neonatal health.
  • Build capacity in areas where skilled human resources are scarce.
  • Allow robust, well designed collaborative trials in geographical areas and patient populations where the need for intervention is greatest.

Furthermore,  we have secured further funding (Wellcome Trust Seed Award) to develop a portable low-cost newborn brain ‘stethoscope’ which can assess brain health immediately after birth. INFANT has made progress on its specific commitments for the next four years, including supervising and funding the doctoral research (on pre-eclampisa) of a low-income country researcher.
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