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The University of Southampton
Centre for Global Health and Policy (GHAP)

Equitable Access to Sustainable Development

The Centre focuses on research that improves health in LMICs with a focus on equity and health systems, linking closely to the SDG targets for health and gender equality. Research activities projects in this area include:

Maternal health, including equity, safe motherhood and abortion.

Redressing Gendered Health Inequalities of Displaced Women (REGHID) – led by Professor Pia Riggirozzi (Politics and International Relations) with Dr Sarah Neal and Dr Amos Channon

The aim of this project is to improve the delivery of sexual and reproductive health and rights of reproductive age women and adolescent girls in situations of protracted displacement in Central and South America, so as to develop both evidence-based advocacy and concrete policy proposals for improving sexual and reproductive health services, establishing responsive and inclusive health systems and contribute to durable, rights-based solutions. The Department is heavily involved in a survey of returned migrants to El Salvador, studying their journey and their return, as well as conducting secondary data analysis studying migrants throughout Central America and conducting policy analyses of migrant SRHR. More information about the whole project can be found on the ReGHID website.

Engaging Users for Quality Enhancement and Rights (EU QUERO): Strengthening the maternal and child healthcare system over the first 1000 days in Brazil – led by Dr Amos Channon (SSD) and Prof   Pia Riggirozzi (Politics and International Relations)

The project monitors, and seeks to strengthen, access and quality of healthcare available to women and children within the first 1000 days of life (from conception until about 2 years of age) Brazil. This project, EU QUERO (meaning ‘I want’ in Portuguese), is testing the feasibility of an intervention to improve the quality of care in two states, Goiás and Maranhão. The project develops scorecards to measure quality and rights-based education working with community health agents and mothers. The aim is to develop tools to improving quality of maternal and childcare and empowering people (especially the most vulnerable and marginalised) with the knowledge and resources to understand and assert their rights. We are working closely with the University of Maranhão and the University of Goiás. More information about this project can be found on the EU QUERO website.

COVID-19: Safety and personalisation for UK maternity care provision in and after a pandemic - Professor Zoe Matthews

UK Government policy is for safe and personalised maternity care. However, during COVID-19 some maternity care provision has been reduced (including antenatal and postnatal tests and visits, home and birth centre births, and induction of labour). In some places, to reduce cross-infection, birth companions are not allowed in early labour, and mothers and babies are separated. Some women are giving birth at home with no professional help. New solutions, like remote access, are also being tried.

The project aims to assess the best solution for maternity care during a pandemic. We will look at what documents and policy makers say about service organisation in the UK and the Netherlands, and at women’s experiences. We will also look in detail at eight UK Trusts, chosen for different circumstances.

Adolescent Health

Research includes studying adolescent fertility in low and middle income countries, looking at the trends, determinants and outcomes and general adolescent reproductive health. For further information please refer to information on the Social Statistics and Demography research website.


Research on HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa has been conducted by members of the department, especially Professor Nuala McGrath and Professor Vicky Hosegood. This includes a strong collaboration with The Africa Health Research Institute in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.

CHERISH (Couples HEalth Research and Intervention Studies) - Professor Nuala McGrath (SSD / School of Medicine).

Couples often share the same social and physical environments, adopting similar health behaviours that can adversely impact upon their quality of life. But living a shared life can be the foundation upon which to build a mutually supportive environment that can help couples make the positive changes that lead to better health.

The initial aim of CHERISH is to contribute to the design and evaluation of interventions for couples affected by HIV, other STIs and, diabetes in South Africa. The proposed research is a partnership between the University of Southampton and two South African institutions: Human Sciences Research Council and University of Cape Town.

Further information can be found on the website.


Previous Projects

- Poverty Reduction and Regional Integration (PRARI)

An ESRC/DfID funded study of the role of regional organisations such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and  the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in advancing global goals of poverty reduction and health equity, supporting member states in the delivery of health policy for better access to basic health care and medicines in Southern Africa and South America.

- Edulink: PopTRCD - Population Training and Research Capacity for Development

Based in Ghana, but with links with Ibadan, Nigeria and Fourah Bay, Sierra Leone, the aim of this research was to improve training in population sciences through the establishment of a survey field site in slums areas of Accra.

- Edulink: STARND - Strengthening Training and Regional Networks in Demography

This project was based in five Southern African countries and aims to strengthen the demographic curriculum and research in this area.

- ESRC: Brazil-India Pathfinder project

Work on health inequalities, comparing the two growing economies of India and Brazil, was conducted within this project.

- Maternal maps

Using innovative mapping skills to study the determinants of maternal mortality was the focus of this ESRC/DFID joint funded research

- Opportunities and Choices

Opportunities and Choices was a six year reproductive health research programme based in the Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute (S3RI). The programme, funded by the Department for International Development, was organised and operated in collaboration with the Centre for Sexual Health Research, University of Southampton and Marie Stopes International.

The programme focused on research into reproductive health in countries, with a special emphasis on poverty and equity. The programme aimed to provide evidence-based research to improve the availability, quality, and efficiency of reproductive health services in resource poor environments.

- Deltas: Assessing Health, Livelihoods, Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation in Populous Deltas

This project sought to quantify the linkages between the ecosystem services (ES) that affect – and are affected by – the livelihoods and food security efforts of the rural poor at the forest-agricultural interface.

- Maternal, Infant and young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) project

This project sought to test the effectiveness of personalized home-based nutritional counselling on infant feeding practices, morbidity and nutritional outcomes among infants in Nairobi slums.

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