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).

© Karen Van der Veken, 2014

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.

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