Friday, 4 April 2014

Prof Jane Fisher and Tach Tran receive grant for their project on women and infants in Vietnam


Professor Jane Fisher and Thach Tran from the Jean Hailes Research Unit, along with Hanoi Research and Training Centre for Community Development were awarded a seed grant by Grand Challenge Canada. The grant was received under the Saving Brains Initiative for the project entitled “Learning clubs for women’s health and infant development in rural Vietnam” from 2014 to 2015.

The bold idea of this project is to develop a structured universal program which combines specific information, learning activities and social support in accessible facilitated community-based groups of women at the same life stage: Learning Clubs for Women and Infants.

The evidence-informed content will be drawn from interventions to address individual risks, which have been tested in randomized controlled trials in other resource-constrained settings, supplemented by our deep knowledge of local risk factors and health and social protection systems to ensure cultural sensitivity and appropriateness.

Optimal development begins at conception. In order to achieve this, it is essential to integrate consideration of the health and social circumstances of women both during pregnancy and in the years in which they are providing primary care for a young child.

The benefit of this program is that foetal, newborn and early infant development will be enhanced through achieving improved maternal nutrition, mental health, birth outcomes, sensitivity and responsiveness in care-giving, feeding and reduced exposure to family violence. It is estimated that this comprehensive approach will reduce preterm birth, anaemia, stunting, and the rates of cognitive and social emotional developmental delays at age six months by 50%, with the effects maintained at least to age two years among young children in rural Vietnam.

Written by Thach Tran.

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