Dr Melissa Gladstone, Clinical Lecturer in Child Health, has been awarded the David Harvey Memorial Prize by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
She won the award for ‘best abstract on research on child health in a developing country setting’. The research looks at outcomes of babies born prematurely in rural Malawi. It is the first study of its kind which has been done using accurately ultrasound dated data in a community setting in rural Africa.
It shows that of surviving infants seen at six weeks, twice as many of the babies born prematurely died by two years of life in comparison to babies born at term and even if they survive the first month of life. The premature infants followed up were almost all late-premature infants (born after 32 weeks gestation, as most of the premature infants born at earlier gestations did not survive to six weeks. Of these late premature infants followed up, they were more likely to have developmental delay and/or problems with their growth and nutrition.
The study highlights the ongoing problems that babies who are born prematurely have, even if they survive to begin with, and has highlighted the need for more appropriate interventions to prevent these problems occurring.
Her research is conducted with Dr Nynke van den Broek from the School of Tropical Medicine, Sarah White and George Kafulafula based in Malawi and Professor Jim Neilson from the Liverpool Women’s.