Maternity academic presents at World Congress event

Mon 22 May, 2023
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A public health academic from the University of Bedfordshire has presented research findings at the 17th World Congress on Public Health, investigating how to enhance timely maternity care for pregnant women from migrant and ethnic minority backgrounds.

Dr Shuby Puthussery, Director of the Maternal & Child Health Research Centre (MCHRC), conducted a workshop on ‘Strengthening Pathways to High Quality Maternity Care for Migrant Women in Europe’, based on the findings of the EnhANCe project conducted by a team of academics from the University’s MCHRC.

The EnhANCe project – funded by Wellbeing of Women in partnership with the Burdett Trust – is a project to enhance access to antenatal care for pregnant women in ethnically diverse and socially disadvantaged areas across Luton. Its aim is to ensure that expectant mothers start their antenatal care in a timely and safe manner by the recommended ten weeks of pregnancy.

At the conference held in Rome earlier this month, Dr Puthussery presented the workshop in collaboration with a team of colleagues from the University of Copenhagen, University College London, the Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin and Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

Speaking about her presentation, Dr Puthussery said: “The World Congress was a perfect platform to disseminate our findings to an international audience. I am delighted to have shared the findings from the project and the wealth of insights and valuable lessons that we developed from our work which explicitly demonstrates the importance of fostering collaboration with the communities we serve and the power of co-production in developing solutions to jointly promote health for all.”

As part of the World Congress meeting, Dr Puthussery also presented the findings of a new evidence-based research on ethnic minority women’s experiences of accessing antenatal care in high-income European countries. This research has been conducted by the MCHRC team and the findings are due to be published soon in the BMC Health Services journal.

Professor Andrew Church, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation, commended Dr Puthussery and her team on their invaluable research and work within the local community. He said: “The University is proud to be part of projects like this which have a profound impact on both a local and nation-wide level. We are grateful to be part of the discussion – and change – around maternal health for women in our community and further afield, and hope to continue to support organisations and charities in helping individuals and their families.”

For more information about the impactful research conducted by the University of Bedfordshire, click here.


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