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Clinical Trials Award

5 April 2011

Ekjut accept Clinical Trials Award

An innovative clinical trial with leadership from Professor Anthony Costello and colleagues from the UCL International Health and Development, and published in The Lancet in March 2010 [Lancet 2010;375: 1182-92], has won the prestigious international award of “Trial of the Year” awarded by the Society for Clinical Trials. The Jharkhand and Orissa trial, led by Drs Prasanta Tripathy and Nirmala Nair of Ekjut, was a cluster randomized trial in very poor communities in eastern India. Its aim was to reduce neonatal mortality rates and maternal depression. The investigators successfully randomised 36 clusters (10-12 villages per cluster) in three districts to a community intervention (vs. none) which involved using or organizing village women’s groups, who engaged in participatory learning and action through play, stories and games. Group members themselves identified newborn health problems within the community and selected their own strategies to address the problems, which they then implemented. After three years of the intervention, neonatal mortality was reduced by 45% and maternal depression by 57%. Nominations for the award came from SCT members, investigators, and interested scholars from around the world, adjudicated by an international expert jury. The trial stood out among its competition because, perhaps most importantly, the study gave the participants and their communities tools to continue the intervention after the study was over. 

Watch a film about the trial here.