The PRECISE (PREgnancy Care Integrating Transitional Science, Everywhere) Network

Annually, pregnancy hypertension, fetal growth restriction (FGR), and stillbirth unrelated to intrapartum events are associated with 46,000 maternal and 2.5 million fetal, neonatal and infant deaths.

Over 99% of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries and over half in sub-Saharan Africa. The PREgnancy Care Integrating Transitional Science, Everywhere (PRECISE) Network has been created to address this area of neglected global health research.

The PRECISE Network is an observation study. As part of the PRECISE Network, a prospective cohort of up to 10,000 pregnant women across three countries representative of sub-Saharan Africa: The Gambia (West Africa), Mozambique (Southern Africa), and Kenya (Eastern Africa) will be set up. The overall aim of the PRECISE Network is to develop a unique cohort of biologically and contextually characterized pregnant and non-pregnant women of reproductive age to support research into placental disorders (namely hypertension, fetal growth restriction and stillbirth) in sub-Saharan Africa.

Participants at the PRECISE training

The primary objective is to describe the extent of placental disorders in women attending antenatal care in centers representative of urban and rural African communities. Additional objectives include to investigate socio-cultural and health system barriers preventing access, effective management, care pathways and to investigate the potential for the introduction of novel methods to assist with diagnosis and management of placental disorders in sub-Saharan Africa.

MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM is one of the three recruiting sites of the PRECISE consortium. In The Gambia, 2,000 pregnant women (1,000 in rural Farafenni and 1,000 in Farafenni town) will be recruited during their antenatal care (ANC) visits and followed-up until 6 weeks post-delivery.

Clinical, epidemiological and demographical information will be collected during antenatal visits, during labour and post-labour. Different biological samples will be collected at these time points to create a bio-repository.

Between 17th – 21st September 2018, a training for the PRECISE network was held at MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM. The training focused on training the trainers and several key members of the different countries participating in the network. Prof. Umberto D’Alsessandro and Anna Roca are both co-PIs.