Throughout 2020, our Programme contributed with new knowledge on one of our major lines of research: establishing causes of death in low-income settings, particularly among women and children. In the framework of the international Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) Network, we showed that infections contribute to more than half of child deaths in developing countries (1). When looking at maternal mortality in Mozambique, we detected a major diagnostic error in almost 40% of deaths, highlighting the need for more specific diagnostic tests (2). We also provide evidence for the need to improve the quality and performance of verbal autopsy techniques currently used in low-income settings (3).
Regarding malaria prevention in pregnant women, we started the pharmacokinetics study within the MAMAH project, which aims to test the efficacy of an alternative preventive treatment in HIV-infected pregnant women. We also published the first results of the household surveys which we performed in the framework of the TipTop project, which aims to increase preventive malaria treatment in pregnant women (IPTp), in four Sub-Saharan countries (4).
And, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we started a clinical trial (Covid-preg) to test the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in preventing COVID-19 infection or disease progression in pregnant women.