The Woman and Child Health Research Centre (W&CHRC) is an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary centre at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. The centre focuses on generating evidence to improve women’s and children’s health in developing countries with a life course perspective.
Based on the research currently carried out and on the new opportunities offered by the inter-departmental collaboration, the W&CHRC defined three priority thematic research lines: Adolescent health (preparing young parents for a healthy first pregnancy), Perinatal health (indirect causes of maternal mortality and continuum of care for both mothers and newborns), and Reproductive health (family planning and reproductive cancers).
The life course perspective of the ITM W&CHRC
The health of women, newborn babies, and children consists of health trajectories and transitions throughout the lifecycle.
- Women need services to help them to plan and space their pregnancies and to avoid or treat sexually transmitted infections.
- Pregnant women need antenatal care that is linked to safe childbirth care provided by skilled attendants.
- Both mothers and babies need postnatal care during the crucial 6 weeks after birth; postnatal care should also link the mother to family-planning services and the baby to child health care.