UCL Grand Challenges


Climate Change and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes: A Data-Driven Global-Scale Investigation (GESTATION)

Adverse pregnancy outcomes and maternal mortality have declined worldwide, but climate change is threatening to reverse these gains through a combination of temperature and extreme weather events.

Pregnant woman

1 September 2021


Grant: Grand Challenges Special Initiatives—NERC Discipline Hopping for the Climate Emergency
Year awarded: 2021-22
Amount awarded:  £19,345.73   


  • Mohammad Shamsudduha, Insitute for Risk and Disaster Reduction
  • Anwar Musah, Geography

The world has seen tremendous success in the reduction of adverse pregnancy outcomes and maternal mortality in the past few decades. Between 2000 and 2017, maternal mortality rate has declined by 38% worldwide; however, significant geographic disparities exist. Currently, 94% of all maternal deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) primarily within Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. However, anthropogenic climate change is threatening to reverse these successes. Our proposed interdisciplinary and collaborative project will bring together researchers from across UCL and globally to connect disciplines to work in the area of climate emergency and human health. This short-term project will form a dynamic team of three researchers who come from three different disciplines – climate and disaster science, social data science, and epidemiology and health science. We will work across boundaries to address the critical research question: is climate change hindering the success of reduction in adverse pregnancy outcomes across the globe, particularly, climate-vulnerable nations in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia? We like to bring together our academic knowledge, expertise, and research skills to investigate how climate-related variables (e.g., temperature) and extreme weather events (e.g., droughts) are linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes and maternal mortality at the global scale.

Impacts and Outputs

  • Awaiting impacts and outputs