Reducing maternal deaths and complications from PPH by 25%

Helping mothers in low-income countries, with support from alumni and a foundation.

Every six minutes, a mother dies from losing blood while giving birth, particularly in low-income countries. Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is the leading cause of maternal deaths in these parts of the world.

The ground-breaking E-MOTIVE trial, taking place across 78 health facilities in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania, aims to reduce severe bleeding after birth and ultimately reduce maternal deaths and complications from PPH by 25%, supported by both alumni and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. A package of care to help diagnose bleeding early and treat women quickly could make the difference between life and death.

The impact to date

To maximise progress during the COVID-19 pandemic, the team are enrolling hospitals in waves within Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania. The study is now ongoing and collecting data from all births occurring in dozens of study hospitals. Meanwhile, the package of interventions is being improved and refined in additional hospitals, before being introduced into half of the study hospitals; the other half of the hospitals will act as the ‘control’ sites. This study design, called a randomised controlled trial, is important to generate valid and reliable evidence to change and improve practice.

A data visualisation platform ’Where and Why’ has been introduced to closely monitor the study hospitals and support the implementation of the new method across all their doctors and midwives.

‘It is a privilege to support these efforts’

Michael Chowen CBE DL says: ‘My wife Maureen and I have visited Malawi and have seen first-hand how urgently support is needed. Our contribution was to fund the supply of two medicines, oxytocin and tranexamic acid, in Tanzania and Nigeria. We are so proud of the incredible work Professor Arri Coomarasamy and Professor Ioannis Gallos are doing across Africa, which has already supported 80,000 women giving birth and aims to save thousands of mothers’ lives.’

Extending to more countries

The trial design has been improved and eight additional sites in Pakistan have been included, thanks to a second gift by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to extend and refine the E-MOTIVE trial. This extra work will make the findings of the trial more reliable and applicable across different contexts.

Find out how you could fund vital research like this

If you are inspired by how Michael Chowen and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have supported the E-MOTIVE trial, get in touch to see whether supporting research like this could be right for you.