Our team assesses the real-life implementation and effects of health interventions while evaluating and improving the tools for assessing health effects
Evaluating the effects of polio vaccines on general child health in Guinea-Bissau
Line Møller Nanque, MSc Global Health, PhD student
As part of the global plan for polio-eradication, the currently used live oral polio vaccine (OPV) is planned to be replaced by the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) before 2024. Both vaccines protect against polio, but their effect on general child health may differ: Previous studies have shown that the live OPV protects against non-polio infections, whereas the non-live IPV may increase the susceptibility to other infections, particularly for girls.
Through a series of studies based on observational data and data from a randomized trial, Line examines the real-life effects of OPV and IPV to assess whether the change from OPV to IPV increases child mortality and morbidity, when the child is deprived of the positive effects of OPV and instead exposed to the potential negative effects of IPV.
Line's research profile and publication list is available here.
Measuring early neonatal mortality in low-income countries
Andreas Møller Jensen, MSc Mathematics, PhD student
During the past 20 years, child mortality has decreased markedly in low-income countries. The third Sustainable Development Goal sets the target for under-5 mortality as a maximum of 2.5% by 2030, in 2017, under-5 mortality in Africa was estimated at 7.6%.
National data in low-income countries are sparse and inadequate. Hence, mortality estimates have to rely on data from other sources such as standardised household surveys, where women are interviewed on all their past births or pregnancies. However, collecting mortality data retrospectively may be associated with omissions and misclassifications.
Through a series of studies Andreas will investigate the association between data collection methods and obtained estimates for neonatal mortality, in terms of magnitude, precision and timing.
Andreas's research profile and publication list is available here.
New indicators of BCG vaccination programme performance
Related to better child health?
Julie Odgaard Vedel, MD, PhD student
Bacille Calmuette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination is recommended at birth in low-income countries. BCG is supplied in multidose vials with limited durability after opening. This has led to a practice of only vaccinating on specific days and not opening a vial unless 10-12 children are present. Therefore, BCG vaccination is frequently delayed. Official BCG coverage estimates evaluate coverage at 12 months of age and do not reveal whether BCG is given timely. Accumulating evidence indicates that BCG vaccination has beneficial non-specific effects on survival and BCG scarring is associated with lower mortality among BCG-vaccinated children.
Julie will evaluate BCG coverage at 1 month and BCG-scarring at 6 months as alternative markers for the BCG vaccination programme by describing and investigating the effects of delayed BCG vaccination on early infant mortality and morbidity as well as the importance of correct intradermal vaccination technique on developing scars.
Julie's research profile and publication list is available here.
Health system strengthening for maternal and child health
Evaluating effects of a large-scale initiative in Guinea-Bissau
Sabine Margarete Damerow, MSc Global Health, PhD-student
Guinea-Bissau has one of the highest burdens of maternal and child mortality in the world. To improve the coverage of essential maternal and child health services and maternal and child survival, the European Union has implemented the ‘Integrated Programme for the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality’ (PIMI) in Guinea-Bissau. PIMI is a large-scale health system strengthening programme providing free care, health worker training, supply of essential medicines, and rehabilitation of health facilities.
Using a mixed-methods approach, Sabine investigates the impact of PIMI on the coverage of essential maternal and child health services and perinatal mortality in Guinea-Bissau and explores persisting barriers and facilitators to quality essential MCH services.
Sabine's research profile and publication list is available here.