Summary background information from the call
Current data on neonatal mortality and stillbirth indicate that the burden is disproportionately borne by people living in low and middle income countries, while pregnant women remain particularly biologically vulnerable to infectious diseases and associated complications. Both neonatal and maternal morbidity and mortality are burdens which could be addressed through the implementation of maternal immunization programmes; data in support of such efforts have been collected in developed and developing countries, and the success of the maternal neonatal tetanus elimination programme has shown that vaccination of pregnant women is effective, logistically possible, and culturally acceptable in less developed settings. However, data from these vulnerable settings on the burden of diseases which could be addressed via maternal immunization, and on vaccine safety and efficacy, are incomplete and of poor quality. To address this gap, the European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation has issued a call for tender for a contractor to carry out a study to quantify the burden of vaccine preventable diseases in pregnant women and their infants in low and middle income countries.
The outcomes of the supported projects will guide the prioritisation of vaccine and maternal health-related research funded by EDCTP (and other H2020 programmes), while the ultimate aim is to contribute to address of the third Sustainable Development Goal – “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” – which makes specific reference to improving both maternal and neonatal mortality rates.