Nine new grants to improve access to sexual and reproductive health services in Africa

For Immediate Release

To mark World Health Day, Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Global Affairs Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) are announcing nine new research grants for Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa.

This $4.5 million commitment is the result of a call for proposals from the 19 implementation research teams under this partnership. The new grants will allow nine of these teams to scale up promising interventions and address the need for family-planning education, support for adolescent mothers, and sexual and reproductive health services and information. These grants complement the partnership’s existing investments in African and Canadian research teams to address the root causes of high maternal and child morbidity and mortality. 

“Effective public policy needs to be supported by sound research. These research grants will deepen our knowledge on maternal mortality, strengthen local health systems, and improve access for women to sexual and reproductive services,” said Marie Claude Bibeau, Canada’s Minister of International Development and la Francophonie.

“These grants will help remove bottlenecks affecting access to sexual and reproductive health services and quality of care for women in Africa,” said Jean Lebel, President of Canada’s International Development Research Centre.

"This investment of $4.5 million represents a next step in boosting Canada's important contributions to global health research,” said Dr. Steven J. Hoffman, Scientific Director of CIHR’s Institute of Population and Public Health. “As the world becomes more interdependent, we will be increasingly counting on researchers to help us uncover effective strategies for improving everyone's health, whether in Africa or Canada, and particularly for the most vulnerable among us."

Quick Facts

  • This commitment is part of a seven-year, $36 million initiative.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 550 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy complications and childbirth — accounting for 66% of pregnancy and childbirth related deaths worldwide.
  • Children under the age of five in sub-Saharan Africa are also 16 times more likely to die than in high-income countries due to poor access to quality healthcare services.
  • 99% of the world’s maternal death occur in developing countries.
  • Maternal mortality dropped by roughly 50% between 1990 and 2013 yet far too many pregnant women face death unnecessarily.

About Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa

The Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa initiative seeks to improve maternal, newborn, and child health outcomes by strengthening health systems, using primary healthcare as an entry point.

About Canada’s International Development Research Centre

Part of Canada’s foreign affairs and development efforts, IDRC invests in knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve lives and livelihoods in the developing world. Bringing together the right partners around opportunities for impact, IDRC builds leaders for today and tomorrow and helps drive large-scale positive change.

About Global Affairs Canada

Global Affairs Canada manages Canada's diplomatic and consular relations, facilitates the country's international trade, and leads Canada's international development and humanitarian assistance. Global Affairs believes in the potential for development innovation to drive positive change to meet 21st century challenges. www.international.gc.ca

About the Canadian Institutes of Health Research

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

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