Thursday 28 February 2019

A team from INFANT travel to Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute in Moshi, Northern Tanzania this week.

As Ireland’s first and only perinatal research centre, INFANT is focussed on making pregnancy safer and improving health outcomes for mothers and babies worldwide. In particular, the centre’s Global Health Program is committed to translating the centre’s innovations into affordable, accessible interventions in countries where the clinical need is greatest and will have the highest impact.

In 2016, INFANT signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute (KCRI), the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC), and the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College (KCMUC) establishing a collaborative research partnership in a number of scientific and clinical areas.

Mike Cuneen, INFANT Software Developer presenting the new cloud-based birth registry to KCMC clinicians.

This partnership is currently working on a project to enhance the KCMC birth registry. Birth registry data is a vital source of information for healthcare providers, funders and policy makers as it contains data on maternal and infant outcomes from each baby born every year. INFANT engineers and software developers initiated and developed this project to enhance the KCMC Medical Birth Registry, making this hugely valuable data accessible to researchers beyond KCMC and INFANT.  This week INFANT will pilot the new high quality, cloud-based birth registry, provide essential training to staff and implement improvements to the system based on local feedback at KCMC.

KCMC staff undertaking bubble CPAP training.

The week-long visit will also include a number of meetings with research and clinical colleagues, tours of the Maternity Ward and Birth Registry Offices, a visit to a regional community health centre, discussions on collaborative funding opportunities and the initiation of a postgraduate student exchange programme.

Speaking about the trip, INFANT Director Prof Geraldine Boylan said that the collaboration between INFANT, UCC and KCRI has gone from strength to strength and she acknowledged the important role that support from ESTHER Ireland had played in enhancing this important collaboration.

Professor Helen Whelton, Head of College of Medicine and Health commented “The partnership to date has been a huge success and we look forward to strengthening our relationship with KCMC in the coming years. International engagement is a priority for UCC and partnerships like these enhance our mission of creating, understanding and sharing knowledge and applying it for the good of all”.