The University of Hyderabad (UoH) – School of Medical Sciences & Fernandez Foundation, Hyderabad have been identified as partners by the principal investigator, Prof. Soo Downe of University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), UK are now part of the prestigious Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Research grant on appropriate use of Caesarean Section. In this globally networked initiative, UoH is with WHO-Geneva and partners in Brazil and Canada to implement an innovative project called Re-JUDGE. The project looks at “Reducing Rates of Non-Medically Indicated Caesarean Sections through an Open Access Multi-Media Evidence and Behaviour Change Program for Lawyers and Judges”. This competitive project was one of the five worldwide projects out of 120 applicants to receive an $80,000 Bill and Melinda Gates Research Grant award.

UCLan’s Research in Childbirth and Health group (ReaCH) led by Prof. Soo Downe, Professor of Midwifery Studies, was one of only five teams worldwide be awarded the funding under the Foundation’s ‘Grand Challenges’ research themes related to appropriate use of Caesarean Section in low and middle-income settings.

This project will be implemented mainly by the UCLan, UoH and the Fernandez Foundation. Additional inputs will be made by the World Health Organization (WHO) and extended research team members based in Canada and Brazil.

Once completed the multi-media programme will be issued to judges and lawyers in four Indian states to evaluate feasibility and usability and its effect on legal decision-making in cases arising out of use of Caesarean Sections.

Dr. B.R. Shamanna

Dr. B.R. Shamanna, faculty in School of Medical Sciences, the partner applicant from UoH says, “We are excited as this study can have far reaching impact especially in locations where we have high CS rates; both indicated and by choice; as per the recent results. There is also an anticipation that more and more litigations will arise when more CS are done. For us, it is a logical extension of working with Telangana state understanding reasons for high CS rates since the last few years supported by UNICEF. This research will look at and address the issues related to safety, appropriate and timely Caesarean Sections in low and middle-income countries that have an impact across the world”.

Congratulating the team, Prof. P Prakash Babu, Dean, School of Medical Sciences said, “Such collaborations will not only enhance the School and University reputation, research outreach and social connects, but also increase students’ opportunities. The School of Medical Sciences always encourages such fruitful collaborations”.

Commending the investigators and the School of Medical Sciences, Prof. Appa Rao Podile, the Vice-Chancellor said “Such efforts contribute to internationalisation of the University in the best possible way while also enabling socially impactful work on global health policies – this is exactly the direction we wish to pursue. It fits well with the mandate of the university as an Institution of Eminence”.