Heat and Maternal and Neonatal Health in Africa: from evidence to action
High outdoor temperatures are already experienced by many populations, but heat risks have been poorly quantified for some regions and vulnerable groups, including pregnant women and children. Heat exposures are currently not considered within the guidance for maternal and newborn care, but pregnant women are increasingly being recognised as an at-risk group within Heat Health Action Plans. This seminar will give an overview of the findings of research undertaken by the CHAMNHA research collaboration. The findings can be used to inform planning for response measures, including climate services. The CHAMNHA research consortium has an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach. Cherie Part will present results from epidemiological studies to improve understanding of heat risks in vulnerable populations. Adelaide Lusambili will discuss the findings of the qualitative research undertaken in Kilifi, Kenya, to understand the experience of pregnant and postpartum women, as well as family members, community health workers and community leaders. Co-design was used to develop behaviour change interventions that have been evaluated for feasibility.
Cherie Part, LSHTM
Chérie Part is a Research Fellow in the departments of Public Health, Environments and Society and Infectious Disease Epidemiology at LSHTM. Her research interests lie in environmental epidemiology, with particular interest in the development and application of statistical methods to assess the impacts of weather variability and climate change on maternal and neonatal health in sub-Saharan Africa. Chérie’s recent research has focussed on quantifying the effects of ambient heat exposure during pregnancy on risk of adverse birth outcomes and maternal complications, and how extreme hot weather in the postpartum period affects maternal behaviours, including infant feeding practices.
Dr Adelaide Lusambili, Africa International University, Kenya
Adelaide is a health system research scientist and policy expert with over 16 years of experience working in sub-Saharan Africa and the UK. She has led research that on water and sanitation and RMNCH health systems strengthening in Sub-Saharan Africa, Her current research investigates the impact of heat on maternal and neonatal health (MNH) in the Kenyan coastal region. She has contributed to the international debates on climate change and RMNC health and presented at COP26/Scotland, COP27/Egypt and Africa Health Agenda (AHAIC). Adelaide holds an MS in Mental Health from the University of Sheffield (UK) and a PhD in Medical Anthropology from the American University, Washington, DC.