Working to Improve Maternal and Neonatal Health

Maternal & Neonatal Health

The Kampala Cambridge partnership first began in 2014, named Improving Maternal and Neonatal Healthcare at Mulago. This initial partnership developed between staff in the Rosie hospital and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Mulago National Referral Hospital (now Mulago Specialised Women and Neonatal Hospital), Kampala. The partnership is centred around reducing rates of maternal mortality, and developed as an extension of an academic project between the University of Cambridge and Makerere University on the genetics of pre-eclampsia.

The workload of the Mulago Hospital, Kampala is huge – in 2014/15 almost 40,000 babies were delivered – nearly eight times as many as in the Rosie. Despite the enormous efforts of the overstretched staff, the maternal mortality is nationally four times the target global rate set in the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Our partnership is helping our Uganda partners to bring this rate down.

Since its inception, the partnership has continued to grow. Our joint work went from:

  • developing guidelines on some of the main causes of maternal mortality, to
  • outlining how these guidelines could be practically implemented, to
  • the training of doctors, midwives and students as multidisciplinary teams.

We are also supporting the creation of a new textbook, ‘Principles of Obstetrics in Africa’, which will be published by Cambridge University Press (CUP). The book will sit alongside their current ‘Principles of Medicine in Africa’ and will be available free on the Internet.

 Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention Control

In 2019, we established a second strand to our partnership with Uganda, the Kampala Cambridge Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Control Project,  funded by the Department of Health and Social Care’s Fleming Fund. Framed around antimicrobial stewardship and infection control, this subsequent project builds upon our established partnership with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.  The project aims to strengthen clinical, laboratory and diagnostic capability to increase understanding of resistance, and improve prescribing practices to enable responsive management of maternal and neonatal patients in Kampala.

To date, the collaborations between clinicians and academics have sparked a host of ideas and activity, ranging from the delivery of a short course in antimicrobial stewardship, exchange visits to Cambridge, G-PPS data collection, and co-authoring textbooks. We continue to develop and expand the partnership, with a recent scoping visit focused on cancer.

Watch the video below to learn more about the Kampala Cambridge Partnership.

What is a health partnership?

A long-term link between health institutions in high and low/middle-income countries, health partnerships facilitate the flow of ideas and expertise between the different healthcare systems to strengthen services and improve patient outcomes. Health partnerships achieve this through training programmes, sharing and learning, based on the healthcare needs of the overseas partner.

"The beauty of this collaboration is that it is not one partner imposing their will on the other partner, it’s like working together, identifying issues, and then still working together to find solutions to those issues. So it is a combination of existing ideas and exposure of ideas to how other people are working on the same issues. Then we come up with a collective approach that will be beneficial to our patients."

Dr Musa Sekikubo, Consultant Obstetrician and Uganda AMS IPC Partnership Lead