- According to the 2022 report of the World Health Organization, more than half of the world’s maternal deaths occur in SSA, where the rate stands at 525 deaths per 100 000 live births and 27 neonatal deaths per 1000 live births. Current trends show that by 2030 the region will still record 390 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births and 54 neonatal deaths per 1000 live births, very far from the targets set by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The factors contributing to maternal and child deaths are numerous.
- In countries in SSA, infectious diseases remain the leading causes of morbidity and mortality, especially during pregnancy and childhood. Because of limited evidence on the contribution of these diseases to maternal and neonatal mortality, the importance of PRDs for maternal, foetal, and neonatal deaths is often poorly recognised. Despite the progress made in other age groups, effective treatment and prevention of PRDs and other diseases such as diarrhoeal diseases, bacterial infections (especially those where antimicrobial resistance is an issue), sepsis and lower respiratory tract infections in mothers, newborns and children is often lacking and/or lagging. The frequent exclusion of pregnant women and children from clinical trials and the limited number of available products targeting these groups, are factors that contribute to the lowest health indicators in these vulnerable populations. In addition, there is a need for critical appraisal of existing health interventions, which may have been introduced and used by healthcare systems without rigorous evaluation in clinical trials. It is thus important to understand whether such interventions lead to better overall health in these populations.
- Moreover, failure to translate research findings into policy and practice prevents research from achieving maximum public health benefits. Despite substantial investment in clinical research in infectious diseases, including PRDs, exploitation, and use of results beyond research groups to date remains limited. Barriers to an efficient uptake of research findings include limited interaction between researchers, policymakers, patients’ community and other stakeholders, lack of experience in exploiting research results beyond academia, limited health systems capacity, affordability issues, and differences between the research, programme planning and policymaking structures and actors.
- Concerted efforts are needed to increase access to potentially lifesaving, cost-effective interventions to prevent and treat PRDs and other diseases such as diarrhoeal diseases, bacterial infections (especially those where antimicrobial resistance is an issue), sepsis and lower respiratory tract infections in pregnant women, newborns, and children to ensure solid evidence is produced for the recommended interventions and to enhance the use of existing interventions in these populations.
- The check will normally be done for the coordinator if the requested grant amount is equal to or greater than EUR 500 000, except for:
- public bodies (entities established as a public body under national law, including local, regional or national authorities) or international organisations; and
- cases where the individual requested grant amount is not more than EUR 60 000 (lowvalue grant).
- Proposals should address the following activities:
- Carry out registration (phase III) and/or post-registration studies of health technologies that tackle infectious diseases affecting women and children to demonstrate clinical effectiveness;
- Demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of the health technologies being investigated in the relevant populations and communities;
- Identify the barriers to the uptake of the health technologies under investigation and address them in the proposed studies;
- Develop methods that can ensure translating clinical research results into healthcare policy and practice in a SSA setting. These methods should be broadly applicable to improve patients’ quality of life beyond the specific health technology being investigated;
- Early involvement and regular interaction with policy- and decision-makers, including end-users, to ensure adoption of the health technology by health systems in SSA.
- This topic aims at supporting activities that contribute to one or several of the expected impacts for this call. Proposals under this topic should aim for delivering results that are contributing to the following expected outcomes:
- Better understanding of the role of poverty-related diseases (PRDs), diarrhoeal diseases, bacterial infections (especially those where antimicrobial resistance is an issue), sepsis and lower respiratory tract infections in maternal, neonatal and child mortality and morbidity, as well as the barriers for the uptake of health interventions against these diseases in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
- Evaluation of the real-life impact of existing interventions in women and children’s health.
- Uptake of research findings on medical interventions (such as diagnostics, drugs, vaccines, and microbicides) of proven efficacy into clinical practice and routine care so that women and children in SSA can have access to safe health technologies for the management of PRDs.
- Widespread adoption of research findings into national, regional and/or international policy guidelines.
- Improved maternal, neonatal and child health in SSA.
- To become a beneficiary, legal entities must be eligible for funding.
- To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions:
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States:
- countries associated to Horizon Europe;
- the following low- and middle-income countries.
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