Although the work of the Institute for Women’s health may appear to fall into four specific divisions, there is an underpinning, cross-cutting strategy to strengthen and further develop programmes of research and education that are of benefit to health care professionals and the women, mothers and new-borns they care for around the globe.
Our strength in leading cutting edge clinical research and our expertise in study methodology, running multi-country large scale trials and epidemiological and public health methodologies combine to provide us with a unique set of skills to enable us to contribute further to improving the lives of women, mothers and babies whoever they are and wherever they live in the world.
Professor Gwyneth Lewis OBE FRCOG FACO is leading this programme of work.
Maternal death audits and reviews
Through their directorships or association in running the “gold standard” United Kingdom Confidential Enquiries into Maternal and perinatal death reviews, Gwyneth Lewis is an acknowledged global expert in this field.
Gwyneth has also edited “Beyond the Numbers”, a handbook for how to undertake maternal death reviews in developing countries to improve maternity care, a programme in which, to date, she has assisted over 56 countries to develop similar programme applicable to their own circumstances.
Quality of clinical care
The “Beyond the Numbers” approach is one methodology to help improve the quality of care provided at different health levels in lower income countries.
In 2013, together with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the Institute is planning to publish a series of papers on how best to ensure quality of care in resource poor setting.
Staff are also involved in the development of national and international clinical guidelines for women, mothers and newborn children.
Further, Gwyneth Lewis and more recently Judith Stephenson are asked to advise governments on the development of high quality integrated women’s health services in their countries.
Disadvantage and inequity
Working with clinical colleagues University College London Hospital the Institute also focuses on issues which affect excluded women such as partner violence, FGM/FGC and the prevention, identification, management and repair of vaginal fistula.
Through Gwyneth Lewis's work with a charity Hands on for Mothers and Babies, the highly successful film “Why Did Mrs X Die” was retold. And lately an already widely acclaimed board game, based on the film entitled “Walking with Mrs X” has been published. It is available in hard copy or to download for free via Hands on for Mothers and Babies website and was launched at the global Safe Motherhood meeting in Mexico in December 2015.