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About PRIME Global Health

PRIME is a program bringing together a group of interdisciplinary researchers from the United Kingdom, South Africa, Bangladesh and India to address the challenges of preterm birth (PTB) in low-middle income countries (LMICs) where its prevalence is highest.


Main Area's PRIME Are Helping

Our main area's we are actively working in are, United Kingdom, Nigeria, South Africa, Bangladesh and India. These Countries are marked in purple on the World map below. Clicking on any of the marked Countries will take you to a new section where we describe in detail our involvement within the chosen Country

Map of World South Africa Bangladesh United Kingdom India



Meet The Team


Professor Dilly Anumba

Programme Director

Director, NIHR Global Health Research Group on Preterm Birth Prevention and Management (PRIME).
Dilly is academic Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Honorary Consultant in Obstetrics and Fetomaternal Medicine at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust respectively. He holds subspecialist accreditation in Maternal and Fetal Medicine. He is the Sheffield University Faculty of Medicine Director for Clinical Academic Training. He runs specialist clinics in Fetal Ultrasound, Prenatal Diagnosis and Fetal Therapy, Prematurity Prevention and Care, and High-Risk Pregnancy.
His research interests are translational, focusing on the physiology of human parturition, reproductive immunology and health inequalities. Dilly investigates the assessment of the cervical remodelling that precedes premature birth, seeking to understand how this is influenced by its immunological/structural properties, and to translate such knowledge into clinical utility. He is Principal Investigator on several Project Grants funded by the UK's Department of Health, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Medical Research Council, investigating novel approaches to predict and manage preterm birth. He is Chief Investigator for the ECCLIPPx research programme of studies developing a suite of technologies employing Cervical Impedance Spectroscopy for preterm birth management. He is Director of the Global Health Research Group on Preterm Birth Prevention and Care (PRIME) at the University of Sheffield, in collaboration with researchers in South Africa, Bangladesh and Nigeria. He has graduated and currently supervises numerous Graduate and Post-graduate clinical and basic science students and researchers, consistent with his passion for the postgraduate training of Early Career Researchers.

Professor Marta Cohen


Marta Cohen is a Paediatric and Perinatal Pathologist at Sheffield Children's Hospital and Honorary Senior Lecturer, University of Sheffield, UK. She holds the following degrees: MD, FRCPath, Diploma in Medical Jurisprudence (Pathology) and a Diploma in Medical Education.
Marta has a long-standing interest in placental pathology, and is an International research profile and opinion leader on this subject. She is committed to education and has co-authored numerous publications.
Past President of the International Paediatric Pathology Association (2014-2016) and Course Director of IPPA Advanced Course (2014-2018), Member of the Paediatric Pathololgy Society; Former Chair of the Paediatric Pathology Group of the European Society of Pathology (2011-2014), Training Program Director of the Giordano Fellowship in Paediatric and Perinatal Pathology of the European Society of pathology (2015-) and Board member of the International Society for the Study and Prevention of Perinatal and Infant Death (2016-)
In 2015 she was included in the Power List of most influential pathologists in the world and was recognised in the book "The first fifty years of the European Society of pathology". Editorial Board Member of PDP, author of 18 chapters in books; 131 articles in peer reviewed journals and Co-editor of the Paediatric and Perinatal Autopsy Manual and of the book Essentials of Surgical Pathology.
Marta is a co-editor of the Diagnostic Pediatric Pathology Series, whose first book entitled "Placental and gestational Pathology" was published by Cambridge University Press in September 2018.

Ms Kerry Parris

PhD student

Kerry Parris is a first-year PhD student supervised by Professor Dilly Anumba on a project within the PRIME group based in the Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine, University of Sheffield. This project is exploring placental histopathological and molecular biology markers of preterm birth in the placenta with the aim of increasing understanding of how infections contribute to preterm labour associated with placental inflammation.
Previously, Kerry graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a first class honours degree in human biology and a PGCE in secondary science before she completed her MSc in Reproductive and Developmental Medicine here in the department, funded by a University of Sheffield scholarship. Kerry's overall research interests are in the role of infections in preterm birth and her previous MSc research focussed on the influence of DNA methylation on transcription factor binding in uterine smooth muscle cells and how this affects initiation of labour at term and preterm.

Dr Bronwen Gillespie

Research Associate

Bronwen Gillespie is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Sheffield. She has a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Sussex, and over eight years of experience overseas, in international development and research, primarily in Latin America. Her area of interest includes global health and anthropology of development, with a focus on how gender, socioeconomic status and ethnicity shape people's relationship with the state and their experience of public services. She currently works as a social scientist with the PRIME project, exploring pre-term birth experiences from mother's point of view, with the aim of helping to ensure that health policy responds to those most in need.

Dr Khondoker Akram.

Research Associate

Dr Khondoker Akram is a postdoctoral research associate, currently working with Prof. Dilly Anumba in the PRIME group at the Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine, University of Sheffield. In this project, he is exploring the infection and inflammation associated aetio-pathological markers in placenta of preterm birth to elucidate pathomechanism of preterm labour. His overall research interest is to understand the mechanism of organ development, repair/regeneration and disease pathogenesis.
Before joining this project, Dr Akram investigated mammalian lung development and regeneration at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College. During his first postdoc research at the Academic Unit of Respiratory Medicine in Sheffield, he studied innate host defence against respiratory viral infection. During his PhD research at Keele University, Dr Akram discovered a novel pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis and identified stem cell derived paracrine factors that play a critical role in lung repair and regeneration.
Before starting his career as a researcher, he graduated in Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) from the University of Dhaka, and then moved to the UK in 2007 to undertake an MSc in Molecular Medicine from Brunel University London. Following his MSc, he was awarded the MRC Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Award to complete his PhD. In addition to research, Dr Akram regularly reviews various peer-reviewed scientific journals and is involved in student supervision.

Ms Megan Cavanagh

PhD student

Megan Cavanagh is a first-year PhD student supervised by Professor Dilly Anumba within the PRIME group based in the Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine, University of Sheffield. Megan's PhD is entitled " How does vaginal microbial community composition and metabolism influence inflammation associated preterm birth across three continents?". Her research uses novel methods of predicting preterm birth via microbiome and metabolome in cervicovaginal fluid.
Previously, Megan obtained a BSc in Biology from Bangor University and, prior to starting her PhD, obtained an MSc in Reproductive Developmental Medicine at The University of Sheffield.

Dr Emmanuel Amabebe

Research Associate

Dr Emmanuel Amabebe is a physiologist currently working on the PRIME project in Sheffield. Dr Amabebe uses metabolomics and molecular biology techniques to explore the mechanisms and diagnostics of infection-inflammation associated with preterm birth in low and middle-income countries in comparison to high-income countries by studying human gestational tissues and body fluids including placenta and cervico-vaginal secretions.
Dr Amabebe completed his PhD in Reproductive and Developmental Medicine at the University of Sheffield in 2016; where he investigated the cervico-vaginal microbiota-metabolite phenotypes that predict preterm birth, and explored key pathophysiological mechanisms of infection-inflammation-associated preterm birth. This was followed by a Postdoctoral Research Assistant role in the same university (ECCLIPPx project) aimed at validating novel techniques/devices to assess the cervix and vaginal microenvironment for accurate prediction of preterm birth.

Dr Evy De Leenheer

Project Manager

Evy De Leenheer is Biomedical Scientist by training with experience in cancer biology and immunology. Evy re-joined the University of Sheffield in 2014 as a Translational Research Project Manager and has worked since on several translational research projects with Prof Anumba. On the PRIME project she is, together with Prof Anumba, the main contact for the Funder (NIHR and DHSC) and liaises between professional services and research colleagues at all institutions involved in PRIME. Evy's main role is to help oversee the day-to-day management of the project and coordinate all project and budget reporting to the funder.

Dr Caroline Mitchell


Dr Caroline Mitchell is a General Practitioner and Senior Clinical Lecturer in Primary Medical Care Research with expertise in evidence synthesis, qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Dr Mitchell is a postgraduate supervisor of Masters and PhD (multidisciplinary) students and Deputy Clinical Academic Training Programme Director for the NIHR programme at the University of Sheffield; providing mentorship and support for postgraduate cross-disciplinary clinical academic trainees. Dr Mitchell is also Senior Academic Lead/ Co-Lead for a portfolio of qualitative studies which sit within the 'Health Equity' theme at AUPMC: 'Improving access to primary healthcare for underserved populations through evidence synthesis and qualitative development and evaluation of complex interventions'.
Dr Mitchell's special interests include:
• the social determinants of access to universal healthcare by under-served groups;
• the social determinants of maternal-foetal well-being;
• use of novel mobile technology postnatal interventions to reduce risk of progression to T2DM in women who have had gestational diabetes;
• mental health/ substance misuse and physical co-morbidities.

Ms Siobhan Gillespie

Research Associate

Siobhan Gillespie joined the PRIME team as a research midwife in October 2018. Her role primarily involves leading the action research focus of the project, exploring issues around the adoption of Kangaroo Mother Care & Delayed Cord Clamping in order to improve pre-term birth outcomes. Siobhan is also involved in the recruitment of patients to the placental studies.
Siobhan qualified as a midwife in 2004 and has worked full time in two large obstetric led units, gaining experience in all aspects of midwifery, from low risk care in birth centres to high dependency care. She currently holds a specialist post in perineal trauma and runs a midwife-led clinic for women who have experienced OASI (Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injury).
In 2013 Siobhan completed an MSc in Clinical Research at SCHARR (University of Sheffield), where she gained the knowledge and skills required to initiate and complete high quality, methodologically sound and ethical clinical research.
Following completion of her MSc, Siobhan commenced a post as a research midwife in The Jessop Wing Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Neonatal research team where she consolidated her theoretical research knowledge with practical experience. Siobhan is keen to see the skills and expertise used in a high income country being used to positively influence the care received by women in low and middle income countries.

Dr Julie Balen


Julie Balen is a Lecturer in Global Health at the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR). She brings implementation science and social science expertise to the group and is the PRIME qualitative research Co-Lead (together with Shams el Arifeen and Quamrun Nahar from icddr,b). Julie's research interests lie in strengthening health systems to improve health services and health outcomes, especially among marginalised populations and those most in need. Her research is interdisciplinary with a mixed-methodology approach, drawing on both theoretical and empirical aspects. She has extensive field experience from almost two decades of work across South and Southeast Asia and West Africa.
Prior to joining ScHARR, Julie held a prestigious Fellowship at Imperial College London, UK. She also completed two Post-doctoral positions in health policy and systems research at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK and at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Julie has a PhD in Public Health and Epidemiology from the University of Queensland, Australia and a BSc in Biology from Imperial College London. Her PhD focussed on neglected issues in tropical health, namely integrated control of parasitic diseases in rural and peri-urban China.
Julie is delighted to be a PRIME Co-Investigator, given its interdisciplinary nature and focus on neglected and marginalised aspects of global reproductive health, namely the prevention and management of pre-term birth in low- and middle-income countries.

Ms Shumona Salam

Research Associate

Shumona is a post-doctoral research associate currently working on the PRIME project at the University of Sheffield. She is trained in Public Health and Development Studies from Bangladesh and has over nine years of experience in public health research. Before joining the University, Shumona worked at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) and the Research and Evaluation Division (RED) of BRAC in Bangladesh.
During her career, she has been involved in large scale studies that primarily aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of community and facility-based maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) interventions using either experimental or quasi-experimental designs. She is also a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded Grand Challenge winner and currently leading a research study to test mHealth interventions to improve the accuracy of recall of the date of last menstrual period (LMP) in Rural Bangladesh. In the PRIME project, Shumona will be involved in coordinating a research priority setting exercise to address preterm births in LMICs and also exploring experiences of caregivers in managing premature babies at home.

Dr Caryl Skene

Consultant Research Midwife

Caryl Skene is currently employed as 'lead Nurse in Neonatal Excellence' in the Jessop Wing Neonatal Unit in Sheffield and has an honorary contract with The University of Sheffield. Her previous posts include Neonatal Nurse Consultant, Lecturer Practitioner, Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Sister and Midwifery Sister. Caryl takes a lead role in promoting Developmental Care and Family Centred Care practices in the Neonatal Unit and is involved in establishing and supporting nurse led services and research. She is particularly interested in developing strategies to improve neonatal pain management and reducing parent infant separation.
Throughout her clinical career Caryl has been actively involved neonatal research and has led a number of studies including 'Action research on relationship centered care', 'An ethnographic study of parental involvement in comfort care', 'Action research to improve neonatal education for midwives and reduce admission to the SCBU' and 'An exploration of Individualized bereavement care'.

Dr Cath Harrison

Consultant Neonatologist

Dr Cath Harrison is a neonatologist with an interest in Global Health with training in the UK, South Africa and Australia.
Cath has been a consultant neonatologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust since 2004 and also the neonatal lead for Embrace, Yorkshire and Humber Infant and Children's transport service.
Her other areas of interest are newborn resuscitation, ventilation and education.
Cath been the Royal College of Paediatrics Speciality Advisory Committee chair for neonatology for the last 5 years and also volunteer for an UK charity providing newborn education training in Africa and works regularly in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Mrs Fiona Campbell

Research Fellow

Fiona Campbell BSc MPH RGN HV DN is a Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield working in the School for Health and Related Research (ScHARR). Her particular interest is in evidence synthesis to inform health care decision making, guideline development and research priorities. This interest is derived from a clinical background in nursing, health visiting and district nursing both in the UK and in LMIC contexts. Fiona has a Master's in Public Health and her work in evidence synthesis has informed policy guidance across a wide range of fields including interventions to reduce obesity, excessive alcohol use, patient safety, harmful sexual behaviour, diabetes and hypertension. Fiona is actively involved in methodological innovations in the field of evidence synthesis, regularly leading workshops and presenting at international conferences. She has a particular interest in the development of rapid reviewing methods and qualitative synthesis. Fiona enjoys the many opportunities for teaching she has within ScHARR, teaching on several Masters Programmes and post-graduate short courses. She also enjoys the chance to learn and is currently a student at Sheffield, in the language department, seeking to ensure she is global in outlook and practice!

Dr Helen Baston

Consultant Research Midwife

Alongside Dr Caryl Skene and Siobhan Gillespie I contribute professional midwifery and research knowledge to the Social Science element of work-stream three, exploring interventions to mitigate preterm birth in low and middle income settings. This work will examine the barriers and facilitators of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) and Delayed Cord Clamping (DCC) from the mothers and health professionals view point, informing policy and practice development.
Born in Leeds, I came to Sheffield to undertake undergraduate nurse education in 1981 and went on to qualify as a midwife in 1987 and then worked as a hospital and community midwife. In 1994 I took up post as Practice Development Adviser / Lecturer and as part of this role became a Supervisor of Midwives. I undertook a master's degree in Primary and Community Care, at the University of Sheffield. I was Lecturer in Midwifery at the University of Leeds from 1998-2004 and at the University of York from 2004-2009 where I was the Programme Leader and Lead Midwife for Education. Supported by a Health Foundation fellowship, I undertook doctoral research examining women's experience of emergency caesarean. I am is currently (since 2009) Consultant Midwife in Public Health at Jessop Wing, Sheffield, with a remit for improving perinatal health through midwifery practice, research and education. I hold an honorary contract in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffield.
My interests include; maternal public health, women's experiences of maternity services and innovation in practice development. My role includes supporting the set up and management of maternity related research in the directorate. I am therefore local PI on a number of studies at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. I am currently co-applicant on the NIHR funded VIP study exploring interactional practices and decision making in labour. I present my work locally, nationally and internationally.
I have extensive experience in module and programme leadership, clinical assessment and curriculum development. I currently guest teach on the undergraduate midwifery programme, focusing on public health, behaviour change models, evidence based maternity care, research methods and development of research proposal.. I also teach medical students, and on MMed Sci Clinical Nutrition and MSc in Reproductive and Developmental Medicine at the University of Sheffield on the subject of pregnancy nutrition and lactation.
I was Joint Editor of the journal The Practising Midwife, 2011-2015 and board member 2001-2015. I am a Professional Midwifery Advocate and Unicef Baby Friendly Guardian. I am a member of the Tobacco Control Programme Board, Sheffield. Chair: Breastfeeding Forum and Stop Smoking in Pregnancy Forum. Strategic practice involvement includes: maternal obesity, teenage pregnancy, smoking in pregnancy, infant feeding, safe sleeping, practice development. I am interested in innovative ways to get research into practice including the use of Forum Theatre and creative practice.
I have written over 50 professional articles, peer reviewed articles, book chapters and three editions of Examination of the newborn. I have led the development of the Midwifery Essentials book Series, which has six published volumes (in four languages, and two more in press.

Mrs Anna Hambleton

PRIME Administrator

Anna Hambleton works as an administrator for the PRIME Research project. Prior to joining the PRIME team Anna worked in the Special Educational Needs Team at Sheffield Local Authority supporting children, young people, schools and families to access additional learning support and services. Anna is currently finishing a BSc in Psychology and has a particular interest in how social science transfers into practice to support children, young people and families in communities.

Gertrude Nsorma Nyaaba

Post-Doctoral Researcher

Gertrude Nsorma Nyaaba is a trained social scientist and public health researcher with over eight years of professional experience working on several health research projects in varied geographical settings in Africa and Europe. She is an implementation researcher with a professional interest in health policy and systems research particularly in the field of non-communicable diseases and chronic care and maternal and child health. She recently submitted her doctoral thesis, which uses a socio-ecological framework to explore the factors contributing to the poor control of hypertension among sub-Saharan Africans (SSA) living in different contexts.
Prior to her doctoral studies, Gertrude worked as a social science research officer in the area of sexual and reproductive health and maternal and child health at the Population Council, Ghana and the Navrongo Health Research Center, Ghana respectively. She has over eight peer-reviewed publications and is a recipient of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate and The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarship awards as well as several international travel grants. Currently, she works as a post-doctoral researcher on the PRIME project at the University of Sheffield. Her work focuses on implementation research in malaria in pregnancy and pre-eclampsia/eclampsia with the aim of contributing to improving the quality and effectiveness of health systems and policy in addressing preterm births in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) particularly in the SSA region.

Dr Neha Kulkarni

Post-doc Research Associate

Dr. Neha Kulkarni is a Post-doc Research Associate on the PRIME project as a Biostatistic/Bioinformatician. She completed her PhD research (Bioinformatic) at the Molecular Biotechnology Center, in the Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences at the University of Torino, Italy. Her PhD project was developing a workflow system to analyse genomic and transcriptomic sequencing data, with an aim to develop a reproducible bioinformatics project that is useful for researchers who have no or less experience in programming. Her current research involves developing pipelines using R/Bioconductors and Python programming languages to analyse transcriptomic, metagenomic and metabolic data processed from cervicovaginal fluids and placental tissues. It also involves integrating sequencing data with other clinical data to highlight biomarkers and to elucidate likely causal pathways. Outside of PRIME Dr. Kulkarni, enjoys spending her leisure time swimming.


Professor Clive Gray


Clive Gray is full Professor and Chair of the Division of Immunology at the University of Cape Town, Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine and Department of Pathology, with a joint appointment to the National Health Laboratory Service. He is the Director of the Tissue Immunology diagnostics lab within the NHLS at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town. This is the only lab in Africa to be accredited by the European Federation of Immunogenetics. He holds a Faculty position as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Immunology, Duke University, North Carolina, USA. He graduated with an MSc and PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand and undertook a post-doc at Stanford University from 1996-98. On returning to South Africa, he became head of HIV Immunology at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases until 2010. From 2011, he has been at UCT in his present position. His focus has shifted from measuring T cell epitope recognition and the dynamics of T cells during acute HIV infection to understanding immune regulation and T cell activation within mucosal and epithelial surfaces and the risk of HIV infection. He is also investigating immune ontogeny in HIV exposed uninfected newborn infants and the impact of HIV infection on foetal-maternal tolerance and how inherited HLA play a role in shaping vaccine responses in the first year of life. He is the founder and director of Immunopaedia (, an on-line immunology web-site endorsed and sponsored by the International Union of Immunology Societies (IUIS). He is the Vice-Chair of the Education Committee of the IUIS and he is the co-Chair of the IUIS International Conference on Immunology in 2022, to be held in Cape Town.

Professor Priya Soma-Pillay


Priya Soma-Pillay - MBChB (Pret), Dip (Obstet) SA, FCOG (SA), MMed (O et ) (Pret), Cert (Maternal and Fetal Medicine (SA), PhD (Pret).

Priya Soma-Pillay is the head of Obstetrics and Maternal and Fetal Medicine at the University of Pretoria and Steve Biko Academic Hospital. She is the co-director of the SAMRC Maternal and Infant Healthcare Strategies Unit and is a co-editor of "Obstetric Essentials" textbook which is currently in its 3rd edition. Priya serves on the following councils: Council for the College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of South Africa (honorary secretary), South African Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (honorary secretary), member of the National Committee for the Confidential enquiry into Maternal Deaths and is the chairperson of the obstetric sub-committee of the Expert Opinion Panel, executive board member of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO). Priya has a special interest in cardiac disease in pregnancy and is the chapter head for the medical and surgical diseases chapter of the Saving Mother's Report. She has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and has been involved in several national guidelines in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology.

Dr Mushi Matjila


Mushi Matjila is Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Groote Schuur Hospital, in Cape Town. His interests are in High Risk Obstetrics, Reproductive Medicine and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss. Professor Matjila's research focuses on the molecular aspects of placentation and maternal-fetal dialogue in placental-based disorders such as Preeclampsia. He is also a member of the Receptor Biology Unit at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) at UCT.
BSc-Biochemistry, Microbiology (UCT), MBChB (Natal), Dip OBS (SA), FCOG (SA), PhD (UCT)

Dr Nadia Ikumi

Research Associate

Nadia Ikumi is currently a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Cape Town.
Her work involves elucidation of perturbed immune pathways in the human placenta linked to adverse birth outcomes including preterm birth. Nadia was the first African to win the prestigious AXA Research Fund post-doctoral award (2016) where she characterized regulatory T cells in the human placenta among HIV infected and uninfected mothers in South Africa. She holds a BSc. Biochemsitry (Hons) from the University of Nairobi; MSc. Biomedical Science from Kingston University London, UK and a PhD. Tropical and Infectious Diseases from University of Nairobi. During her PhD Nadia was also a fellow of the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Global Health Training Program sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


Dr Shams el Arifeen


Prof Shams El Arifeen is now the Senior Director of Maternal and Child Health research at icddr,b, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Dr Arifeen is also an acting professor of epidemiology at the James P. Grant School of Public Health at the BRAC University in Bangladesh. He has nearly 25 years of experience in child and neonatal health, health services and health systems research, including nine years in government health services, with a focus on health interventions for developing populations. He also has extensive experience in research and evaluation, with particular expertise in cluster randomized trials, large-scale surveys as well as with community and facility-based evaluations of interventions and programmes, using both experimental and quasi-experimental designs.
Dr Arifeen actively participates in national efforts within Bangladesh to scale up evidence-based neonatal and child health interventions. He currently leads the team assisting the government of Bangladesh and its partners in monitoring and evaluating health services and programmes. He has served on a number of Bangladesh's technical and advisory committees, including the National Committee on Immunization Practices, Technical Sub-Committee on National Newborn Health Strategy and the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey, Urban Health Survey and Bangladesh Maternal Mortality Survey technical committees. Dr Arifeen contributed to the 2003 Lancet Series on Child Survival and has published more than 140 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals. He holds an MBBS and DrPH and is trained in medicine, public health, nutrition and epidemiology.

Dr Quamrun Nahar


Dr Quamrun Nahar is a Social Scientist with more than 25 years of experience in conducting health and population research. She is presently the Acting Senior Director of the Health Systems and Population Studies Division of icddr,b. She is also heading the Climate Change and Health Initiative of icddr,b.
She joined icddr,b in 1991 and since then worked extensively in the fields of adolescent health, maternal health, and health systems research especially in improving health services for adolescents in Bangladesh. Her seminal work on adolescent health includes: identifying health needs of adolescents in Bangladesh; assessment of youth-friendly health services in Bangladesh; national survey on child marriage, and designing and testing several intervention strategies to improve health information and services for adolescents in Bangladesh. Her some other recently completed studies include an epidemiological study to assess the burden and risk factors for human papilloma virus (HPV) infection in Bangladesh; evaluation of HIV prevention programs for female sex workers, and assessment of effect of post-abortion family planning services on subsequent fertility behavior. She has extensive experience in research and evaluation with particular focus on large scale surveys as well as evaluation of community and facility-based interventions using mixed method design.
She has served in a number of national technical and advisory committees, including technical committee for Urban Health Survey 2013, Bangladesh Maternal Mortality and Health Care Survey 2010 and 2016 and Adolescent Health Strategy 2016.
She is also an Associate Professor at the James P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University and an Adjunct Faculty at the Department of Public Health, North South University, Bangladesh and teaches health research methods. She also worked at the University of Hawaii, USA for a short period of time.
She has obtained her medical degree from Dhaka University, Bangladesh. She has a Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Health Care and Master of Medical Science Degree from the University of Western Australia. She has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Hawaii, USA. She has received a number of fellowships and awards, namely, Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) fellowship in Population and Reproductive Health, Population Reference Bureau (PRB) Fellowship for Population Policy Program, East West Center Degree Fellowship, Australian Development Aid (AusAID) Fellowship and Dr John W. Sellors' In Memoriam Award. She has published more than 40 research articles and reports based on her work.

Dr Ahmed Ehsanur Rahman

Research Associate

With an MBBS and an MPH degree, Dr Ahmed Ehsanur Rahman has a basic understanding regarding health and a theoretical foundation in epidemiology, research methodology, biostatistics and evidence-based programme planning and implementation.
Dr Rahman has nearly 10 years of experience in public health, with special interests in improving health service delivery and quality of care related to Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH). He has extensive experience in research and evaluation, with particular expertise in the development and delivery of innovative approaches through implementation research and intervention trials. He has considerable experience in conducting health facility assessment survey and until now he has led the process of conducting health facility assessments in more than 100 health facilities. He is also involved with the Bangladesh Health Facility Assessment Survey 2017 as a National Technical Working Committee Member. He has expertise in conducting large-scale household surveys and surveillance and has led the process of conducting household surveys in more than half a million household over the past five years. He is an expert in assigning the causes of death through physician review verbal autopsy and co-lead the verbal autopsy teams in Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey 2017, Bangladesh Maternal Mortality Survey 2016 and Bangladesh Urban Heath Survey 2013.
He has contributed significantly in the development of several national strategies, including the National Child Health Strategy of Bangladesh 2017-2022, the National Strategy for Prevention and Management of Birth Defects in Bangladesh and the National Strategy for Clubfoot Care in Bangladesh. He has also served as a member of several national technical committees responsible for developing/updating several national guidelines and registers related to maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (MNCH). At present, he is a member of the National Technical Working Committee on Newborn Health which is the highest technical committee on newborn health in Bangladesh. As part of the icddr,b team, he has been providing technical assistance to the Government of Bangladesh in implementing and monitoring of National Newborn Health Programme and Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) services nationally. In addition, He is a faculty with the training unit of icddr,b where he has been teaching Epidemiology and Quantitative Research Methodology since 2013.

Dr Shafiqul Ameen

Research Associate

Dr. Shafiqul Ameen is working as a Research Investigator at the Maternal and Child Health Division of icddr,b. He is a medical graduate and he has more than five years of experience in public health. His research interest includes maternal and neonatal health with a focus on interventions given to small and sick newborn such as KMC, injectable antibiotics for neonatal sepsis etc. He has experience in conducting verbal autopsy and he was involved in cause of death assignment in Bangladesh Maternal Mortality Survey and Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey. He has also experience in working with Community Skilled Birth Attendants who provide delivery and newborn care at community level.

Mr Tapas Mazumder

Research Associate

Tapas Mazumder is currently working as a Research Investigator at the Maternal and Child Health Division, icddr,b. He joined icddr,b in 2016. Since then he has worked in several projects. Those projects focused on various areas of public health; birth defects, implementation of interventions to improve maternal and neonatal health, strengthening of public health systems, evaluation of maternal and neonatal health programme etc. He enjoys working in the project implementation site as it helps to understand the context better. He also enjoys designing interventions based on gathered experience, and to test the feasibility of implementing an intervention. He loves teaching. Therefore, he works as a teaching fellow of the "Anthropological Approaches to Public Health and Qualitative Research" course at the James P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University. Since his graduation in Public Health from the James P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, in 2014, he worked in the same institution for two years. He was awarded USAID competitive fellowship in the year he completed his master's in public health. He was also awarded "Sir Fazle Hasan Abed award for leadership" during his master's in Public Health.
Mr Tapas will be involved with the Social Science Research Part of PRIME. He will play an important role in finalization of concept note and protocol. He will have a significant role in the implementation of the research, analysis of data, preparation of the report and dissemination of findings.


Dr Basavaraj Peerapur


Dr Basavaraj Peerapur is currently the Dean and Director of Raichur Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Raichur, India. He is a Microbiologist by training and passion. His special fields of interest are Mycetoma, Nocardia and Tuberculosis. He has more than 60 publications to his credit and has guided 6 PhD students in different specializations. Under his leadership at RIMS, the institute's laboratory for TB Drug Sensitivity Testing has achieved the distinction of being one of the 4 in the state of Karnataka recognized by the NABL. He has also been instrumental in getting sanctioned the Multidisciplinary Research Unit attached to RIMS.

Dr Ashalata Mallapur


Dr Ashalata Mallapur is the head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at S Nijalingappa Medical College and Hanagal Shri Kumareshwar Hospital and Research Centre, Bagalkot, Karnataka, India. She has been a Co-Principal investigator in several facility and community based research studies focusing on Pre-eclampsia, PPH, Preterm labour, and maternal and neonatal sepsis. She has several publications to her credit. She has contributed to quality data acquisition for projects implemented by the WHO, amongst others. She has guided many residents and PhD students in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is an actively interactive person with great networking skills and a keen academician.

Dr Umesh Charantimath


Dr Umesh Charantimath is faculty in the Department of Community Medicine at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research, Belagavi, Karnataka, India. His professional engagements include designing and implementing research protocols aimed at improving health outcomes of women and children residing in low resource settings. The studies, funded by international agencies including the World Health Organization (WHO), Fogarty International Center, the Thrasher Research Fund, UKMRC-DBT Newton Fund, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Children's Investment Fund Foundation are targeted at resource-poor settings with sub-optimal health care infrastructure, low literacy and socioeconomic status. Some of the topics of his completed and ongoing projects have been Pre-eclampsia, maternal and young infant nutrition, preterm labour, contraception, pregnancy outcome tracking, anemia, monitoring during labour and fetal growth restriction. He has been awarded the UK-MRC Newton Prize 2017 for Research Excellence/Innovation for "Evaluation of the Introduction of a Novel Device in the Management of Hypertension and Shock in Pregnancy in Low-resource Settings."

Dr Umesh Ramadurg


Dr Umesh Ramadurg is an enthusiastic and passionate public health professional. Presently working as Professor of Community Medicine at S Nijalingappa Medical College, Bagalkot, Karnataka, India.
He is an active member of the Medical Education Unit and Women's and Children's Health Research unit of S Nijalingappa Medical College. He has been a part of formulating and implementation of many community and hospital based research studies which are aimed at reducing maternal and child mortality and morbidity.
He has been awarded the KACH Young Scientist award by the Karnataka Association of Community Health (KACH) in recognition of his contributions to the field of Research. He has also received an appreciation award by his parent institution.

Dr Geetanjali Katageri


Dr Geetanjali Katageri is currently Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at S Nijalingappa Medical College and Hanagal Shree Kumareshwar Hospital and Research Centre. She is a teacher for undergraduate and postgraduate students with several years' experience. She has participated in several hospital and community based research projects involving pre-eclampsia, preterm labour, postpartum hemorrhage, obstetric sepsis and antenatal corticosteroid administration amongst others. She has good experience at developing training material, data capture mechanisms and community implementation of research protocols. Her work has involved close interaction with the community, community health workers and the practitioners at a variety of health care facilities. The network thus established is crucial to addressing challenges in healthcare and implementation of further research protocols.

Dr Subarna Roy


He is a Microbiologist and Molecular Biologist. Worked in diagnosis and molecular epidemiology of infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, bioinformatics and traditional medicines. His major contributions include the detection and investigation of first ever and subsequent outbreaks of cholera in Andaman & Nicobar Islands in Indian Ocean, monitoring of emerging antimicrobial resistance and providing inputs to the Health Services on antimicrobial therapy. He was one of the first civilian Central Govt servants to be deputed to Car Nicobar Island for relief and medical aid immediately after the 26th Dec 2004 Earthquake and Great Asian Tsunami. Instituted temporary microbiological surveillance for monitoring and prevented occurrence of any major outbreak of infectious diseases in the islands despite thousands of death and displacement of people. Developed Random Amplified Targeted Sequence (RATS) PCR, a rapid method of genotyping typing of leptospires. Identified an elite clone of Gymnema sylvestre (with exceptionally higher content of marker compounds), one of the most highly traded traditional medicinal plant used in the treatment of diabetes. Demonstrated the effectiveness of cocoa extract for prevention of adverse effects of doxorubicin, a widely used anti-cancer drug thereby having implication on improvement of quality of life of patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy with anthracycline antibiotics. Played a major role in estimating the burden of Rotavirus diarrhoea in children in parts of North Karnataka and South Western Maharashtra and identified the circulating strains in an ICMR- Nationwide Networked project, that led to introduction of Rotavirus vaccination in the Universal Immunization Programme. One of the scientists to flag the occurrence of Rotaviral diarrhoea in older children and young adults, contrary to the then belief that it occurs mostly in children below 5 years of age. First to establish Human Parechovirus as causal agent of childhood diarrhoea. Also, one of the first to establish the role of Salivirus in causing childhood diarrhoea in India. Monitoring and working on diphtheria in Karnataka State, highlighting the re-emergence of the disease and increase in deaths due to diphtheria in various states and advocacy for availability of DAT in affected areas to reduce deaths. Worked and liased with the Govt of Karnataka, Dept of Health & Family Welfare, and Dept of Medical Education for establishment of Model Rural Health Research Unit at Sirwar, Raichur Dist. which is working on improvement of health status of deprived and marginalized people of the region. Served as Nodal Officer of the DHR scheme since inception. Provided identification and characterization services with respect to infectious agents to most districts of Karnataka since 2009 and helped in investigation of outbreaks and reducing morbidity and mortality. Served medical and academic institutions to develop research infrastructure and trained human resources in North Karnataka through various activities including mentorship, training, etc.
Recipient of ICMR General Sahib Singh Sokhey Award, National Academy of Medical Sciences S.S.Misra Memorial Award, and University Gold Medal.
Published over 100 research papers, guided 10 students for PhD and many Post Graduates.

Professor Shivaprasad Goudar


Dr Shivaprasad Goudar is Director-Research of KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research, Belagavi, Karnataka, India. He currently heads the NICHD Global Network for Women's and Chidlren's Health Research Site at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Belagavi and is also the Director of its WHO Collaborating Centre for Research in Maternal and Perinatal Health. His professional responsibilities encompass the design and implementation of research protocols aimed at improving health outcomes of underserved populations, especially women and children residing in low resource settings. He has led, often as Principal or Site Investigator, many studies funded by the World Health Organization; the National Institutes of Health (specifically the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Fogarty International Center, and the National Cancer Institute); the American Academy of Pediatrics; the Thrasher Research Fund; the Newton Fund (a collaboration between the UK Medical Research Council and the Department of Biotechnology, India; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: and the Children's Investment Fund Foundation. The research is particularly focused on postpartum hemorrhage, maternal and infant nutrition, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, birth asphyxia, preterm births and early childhood neurodevelopment.

PRIME Team Accolades

It has been a spectacular month of accolades to several colleagues within PRIME who have had special recognitions and elevations for their work and it seems appropriate just to appreciate and congratulate them.
Last updated 24th November 2018

Shams El Arifeen

Shams El Arifeen has received a National Gold medal Award for his outstanding service to Maternal and Child Health in Bangladesh. We are truly proud to be associated with you Shams and wish you well for even more recognition for all you do! We are honoured to work with you.

Priya Soma Pillay

Priya Soma Pillay has been elected to the executive Board of the International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (FIGO) as the representative for South Africa. FIGO is the umbrella organisation of all national professional associations of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. This is an outstanding achievement. It is testament to the impact and influence that Priya has in Women's Health in South Africa and now globally.

Fiona Campbell

Fiona Campbell has received a special monetary award by Department of Oncology and Metabolism (my Department) in recognition of her dedication and hard work in leading us through the recent PRIME Mapping Exercise and Evidence Synthesis. This is the very least that Fiona deserves. Well done Fiona and I am sure this will spur you to even greater heights as an invaluable member of PRIME. Thank you very much.

Kerry Parris

Kerry Perry was awarded the best 3-minute presentation at the recently concluded Annual Symposium of the Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine Oncology and Metabolism Department. To win this prize just 4 weeks into her PhD studies is an outstanding achievement and we are already very proud of you, Kerry. Well done.



Our Mission

PRIME logo

We aim to:

  • Facilitate stakeholder-led research prioritization events
  • Clarify the preterm birth care gaps in low-middle income countries
  • Develop guidelines and interventions that can be employed in settings with limited preterm birth care facilities to improve preterm newborn care and survival
  • Execute scientific studies to better elucidate the role of infection in the high preterm birth rates in low-middle income countries as well as explore methods for assessing the risk of preterm birth

Impact and Sustainability

To ensure sustainable impact PRIME is investing in building strong links between partner academic institutions and across policy and practice stakeholders via an ongoing programme of engagement activities, joint doctoral fellowships and postgraduate courses.