Maternal and perinatal Health Research collaboration, India (MaatHRI) | University of Oxford

Maternal and perinatal Health Research collaboration, India (MaatHRI)

Maternal and perinatal Health Research collaboration, India (MaatHRI) is an equitable partnership between the University of Oxford and 15 hospitals across five states in India.

Dr Manisha NairDr Manisha Nair
MaatHRI (means Mother in Sanskrit) is the largest collaboration for maternal and perinatal health research in India, established to improve the health and outcomes for mothers and babies in the country that has the highest burden of maternal and child deaths. It is the first prototype of obstetric research platforms in Europe and Australia in a low-and-middle income country (LMIC), and within this, it covers the most deprived and vulnerable population.

Although inspired by models in high-income countries, it is more advanced in terms of standardisation of data and laboratory parameters, participant safety, and secure storage and transfer of data within and between countries. The pilot work for MaatHRI was conducted in 2014-15, funded by the University’s John Fell Fund, to collaborate with two hospitals in India, and today, the MaatHRI collaboration includes 15 hospitals across five states, conducting multiple large-scale studies to reduce preventable deaths.

Along with research, capacity building and strengthening in India and the UK, is a key objective of MaatHRI. For example, in the past two years they have conducted two large training workshops in which more than 100 clinicians from 14 institutions were trained to improve their clinical and research skills. Following the trainings, ten hospitals in India have one or more obstetricians (a total of 24 across these hospitals) trained in acquiring echocardiography images using hand-held (bedside) machines that can be interpreted remotely by experts. As well as a research tool, bedside echocardiography is providing essential diagnostic capacity as heart failure in late pregnancy is an important cause of maternal death in India. At Oxford, MaatHRI has an ongoing DPhil student, a post-doctoral fellow, and has facilitated multiple MSc research projects.

MaatHRI has a current funding of more than £1.15 million, 19 research staff, and 30 collaborators in India. It is funded by an MRC Career Development Fellowship for Manisha Nair (under Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF)), and has received further funding from NDPH–Pump-priming award, Ultromics Ltd, and the India Alliance (DBT-Wellcome Trust).