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NIHR launches £50m funding to tackle health inequalities in maternity care


The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) has launched a £50m “Challenge” funding call to tackle inequalities in maternity care.

The funding call aims to establish a research consortium to deliver research and capacity building over five years.

The call was announced as part of the Department for Health and Social Care’s women’s health priorities for 2024.

Recent evidence suggests that Black women in the UK are almost three times more likely to die during pregnancy or up to six weeks after pregnancy compared to white women. Asian women are twice as likely to die during pregnancy or shortly after, compared to white women.

The new consortium is hoped to bring together experts across the UK to help change numbers like these.

The research aims to focus on inequalities before, during and after pregnancy. According to NIHR, a key aim is to identify specific areas where measurable improvements can be made.

Relevant charities, patient groups, community groups and the life sciences industry will be involved in the research where appropriate.

Professor Marian Knight, scientific director for NIHR Infrastructure, said: “I am hugely excited about what this research can achieve – funding truly innovative approaches to tackle maternity inequalities will save women’s and babies’ lives – this is a challenge the NIHR is ideally placed to deliver.”

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Source: FemTech World, 15 March 2024

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