Exciting New Research Projects at CRH

CRH is delighted to announce that we will be working on two new research projects, one focused upon adolescent health for the next 18 months, and the other around intrapartum care for the next 5 years.

Rutgers, The Netherlands

CRH is excited to announce that it is working in partnership with Rutgers, an international centre of expertise on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights based in the Netherlands, to deliver the proposed research: ‘Global Early Adolescent Study: Longitudinal Measurement of Health and Wellbeing Among Urban Standard 6 Learners’.

CRH will be working alongside national implementing and advocacy partners including “CAVWOC” and the Malawi SRHR Alliance in collaboration with the Blantyre District Education Office, the Rutgers “GUSO” program and Promundo, an agency working globally with a focus on gender issues. In collaboration we splan to roll out an intervention in early 2020 to enhance reproductive health knowledge and communication skills entitled “Very Young Adolescence 2.0: A curriculum to promote gender equality and sexual and reproductive health”.

We aim to examine the impact on young adolescents of interventions designed to enhance reproductive health knowledge, communication skills and decision making as well as to understand changes in key measures that occur in the course of a school year. Specific goals are to test the sensitivity to change of the questionnaire measures in learners who participate in school-based communication workshop activities, and examine the stability of health and wellbeing measures during a school year over two successive survey rounds.


CRH is thrilled to announce that the grant for research: ‘Action Leveraging Evidence to Reduce perinatal mortality and morbidity in sub-Saharan Africa (Alert) has been approved with Horizon 2020. The research will begin in January 2020 for a period of 5 years.

The background

Intrapartum care needs more attention: every day more than 7,000 women and their offspring could be saved if known evidence-based intervention were consistently implemented during the few hours surrounding birth. Hospitals care for about 40-50% of all births in Sub-Saharan Africa including complicated births.

The objective

The objective of the research is to develop and evaluate a multifaceted intervention to i) strengthen the implementation of evidence-based interventions and responsive care and ii) reduce in-facility perinatal mortality and morbidity through a multidisciplinary approach in Benin, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda. CRH will be focussing on analysing elements, domains, constructs and drivers of responsiveness and professionalism among midwifery providers and to inform the co-design and implementation of the ALERT intervention.

Students to be Awarded Research Grants by the Ministry of Education

Yewo Kayira , supervised by Dr Effie Chipeta at CRH, has been awarded a research grant by the Ministry of Education; ‘Assessing the uptake and utilisation of modern contraceptive method amongst young people’.

Regina Makuluni , supervised by Professor William Stones at CRH, has been awarded a research grant by the Ministry of Education; ‘A cross section study on impact of result based finance for maternal and newborn health (rb4mnh) on stillbirths: comparison of four districts in Malawi’.

Congratulations to the students and supervisors for this fantastic achievement!


New Research at CRH – Who are the Male Partners of Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Blantyre?

In Malawi, HIV prevalence in AGYW is four times higher than in their male counterparts. Sexual relationships with some male partners contribute to increased HIV risk among AGYW due to power differentials within relationships reducing AGYW’s ability to negotiate condom use; male partners’ increased exposure to HIV through their often larger sexual networks; and men’s reluctance to access HIV prevention, care, and treatment services. There is a need for data on the socio-demographic characteristics of male sexual partners of AGYW, the dynamics of their relationships with AGYW, their use of HIV prevention, care and treatment services, and strategies to effectively engage and link them to HIV services.

The IMEM project of College of Medicine in collaboration with the Centre for Reproductive Health embarked on a research study to characterize the male partners of adolescent girls and young women in Blantyre. The study is funded by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC). This is a cross-sectional study which employed quantitative and qualitative data collection methods to assess the profile and social and health-seeking behaviour of male sexual partners of adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) aged 15-24 in the district of Blantyre in Malawi.

The study was conducted in Blantyre District in Malawi from 1st July 2019 to 23rd August 2019.  The study was conducted in the urban-slum, urban middle class and rural areas of Blantyre district, Malawi, which has one of highest HIV prevalence in Malawi. The district has an estimated population of 1.1 million, of which 60% resides in the urban areas. The actual study sites were identified using systematic sampling from a list of townships or settlements within the three clusters in the catchment areas of the DREAMS project implemented by an organization called One Community. Three catchment areas were eventually sampled and these included Chileka for rural cluster, Bangwe for the urban-slum cluster and Zingwangwa for the urban middle class cluster.

Currently the data analysis for both the quantitative and qualitative data has commenced. The Study findings will be disseminated through local and international scientific conferences, HIV Prevention Technical Working Group and in peer-reviewed journals. A copy of the report will be shared with the College of Medicine Research and Ethics Committee (COMREC).

Data collectors leaving for field work DREAMs sept 2018
Data collectors leaving for the field

Countdown 2030 regional workshop on use of data and evidence for action and accountability

Monica attended the Countdown 2030 regional workshop on use of data and evidence for action and accountability in Nairobi, Kenya.  The theme of the workshop was: reducing inequalities in reproductive, maternal, new-born and child health in sub-Saharan Africa: from evidence to policy and accountability.  The workshop brought together parliamentarians, researchers, civil society organizations and government officials.  The objectives of the workshop were to:

  • Share and discuss the regional and country RMNCH inequalities.
  • Discuss the current place of equity for RMNCH
  • Agree on how best evidence can be incorporated in country strategic plans, situation analysis and monitoring effects including accountability efforts.

Implementation Research for Evidence Based Programming

Implementation research (IR) is a field of health research that is currently getting a lot of attention.  It can be defined as a systematic approach to understanding and addressing barriers to effective and quality implementation of health interventions or programs, strategies and policies. Despite the growing interest in IR, it is a field of research that is less understood.  This course aims at equipping the participants with knowledge of IR and essential capacities to frame relevant research questions, conduct, manage and interpret research results for programme planning and policy implementation. The course would be most beneficial to Program managers, Project officers and coordinators, Monitoring and Evaluation officers, and Policy makers.

The following aspects of the course are covered:

  • Facilitate engagement between researchers and implementers.
  • Identify implementation bottlenecks or inefficiencies.
  • Frame appropriate research questions to address the issues identified.
  • Highlight the different methodological approaches to generating information.
  • Consider ethical issues in context.
  • Facilitate mentorship to ensure sustained IR capacity at all levels.

SRHR program Monitoring and Evaluation

Qualitative Analysis- Nvivo

SRH grant proposal development

Improved Reproductive Health(RH) service provision and utilization

About CRH

The centre aims at providing leadership, training and research expertise in order to build the human capacity required to scale up the implementation of the national reproductive health program.

Contacts: Main Office

College of Medicine
Centre for Reproductive Health
P/Bag 360.
Chichiri, Blantyre 3.
Tel: 265 (0) 888 60 47 00

Email : pmhango@medcol.mw