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The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Global Health Research InstituteResearch

Improved Nutrition Pre-conception, Pregnancy and Post-Delivery (INPreP)

INPreP logo


INPreP have been awarded a 1 year costed-extension by NIHR Global Health to continue our work on maternal and child nutrition until 2022.

Post doc Polly Hardy-Johnson has been awarded a grant from GCRF to set up a longitudinal qualitative study on teenager's experience of Covid-19 across Africa and India.

PhD student Daniella Watson has been awarded the NIHR SPARC placement to learn about community mobilisation with Profs David Osrin and Audrey Prost at UCL and research teams in India.



Burkina Faso Training
Burkina Faso Training


Facilitator training report, Nanoro, Burkina Faso.

Read more about our facilitator training for the CHAT priority setting activity, based on Healthy Conversation Skills in the 'Useful Downloads' section below.

Useful Downloads

Need the software?PDF Reader

Recent Publications:

Erzse A, Goldstein S, Norris SA, Watson D, Kehoe SH, Barker M, Hofman KJ, for the INPreP group. (2020) Double-duty solutions for optimising maternal and child nutrition in urban South Africa: a qualitative study. Public Health Nutrition.

Debpuur C, Nonterah EA, Chatio ST, Adoctor JK, Dambayi E, Beeri P, Nonterah EW, Ayi-Bisah D, Watson D, Kehoe SH, Dalaba MA, Ofosu W, Aborigo R, Welaga P, Oduro AR, Newell ML, Barker M, for the INPreP group. (2020) Supporting maternal and child nutrition: Views from community members in rural Northern Ghana. Public Health Nutrition.

Compaoré A, Ouedraogo K, Boua PA, Watson D, Kehoe SH, Newell ML, Tinto H, Barker M, Sorgho H, for the INPreP group. (2020) “Men are no more playing their roles”: Maternal and child nutrition in Nanoro, Burkina Faso. Public Health Nutrition.

Watson D, Kehoe SH, Erzse A, Compaoré A, Debpuur C, Nonterah EA, Sorgho H, Norris SA, Hofman KJ, Newell ML, Godfrey KM, Ward KA, Barker M, for the INPreP group. (2020) Community perspectives of maternal and child health during nutrition and economic transition in sub-Saharan Africa. Public Health Nutrition.

Wrottesley SV, Prioreschi A, Kehoe SH, Ward KA, Norris SA. A maternal “mixed, high sugar” dietary pattern is associated with fetal growth. Maternal & Child Nutrition. 2020 Apr;16(2):e12912.

Prioreschi A, Wrottesley SV, Said-Mohamed R, Nyati L, Newell ML, Norris SA. Understanding how maternal social and biological factors are related to fetal growth in an urban South African cohort. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. 2020 Feb 17:1-9.


INPreP International research group in Southampton, UK
INPreP International research group in Southampton, UK

Who are we?

We are a group of world-renowned global health researchers from Sub-Saharan Africa and the United Kingdom. We are passionate about improving and sustaining the nutrition and health of communities in West and South Africa with a particular focus on maternal and child nutrition in the first 1000 DaysPlus. We are based in Burkina Faso, Ghana, South Africa and the UK. Colleagues across all four countries are working in collaboration to achieve our goals of reducing the double burden of under- and over-nutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa.

INPreP 'Six work packages'

What are our aims?

INPreP aims to improve the nutrition and health of women and children before, during and after pregnancy by:

Map of INPreP Research Sites
Map of INPreP Research Sites

Where are we based?

INPreP team members are based in these research centres:

INPreP International research group in Navrongo, Ghana
INPreP International research group in Navrongo, Ghana

Meet our team

The INPreP research team consists of over 30 researchers working in four countries. We are a multidisciplinary group ranging from epidemiologists to social scientists. We encourage and support colleagues at all career stages, from Masters students to Professors.

Principal investigators in each country

Kate Ward (Director of INPreP), University of Southampton,

Karen Hofman, PRICELESS, University of the Witswatersrand,

Shane Norris, DPHRU,  University of the Witswatersrand,

Engelbert Nonterah, Navrongo Health Research Centre,

Hermann Sorgho, Clinical Research Unit of Nanoro,

For further details regarding INPreP team members, please contact the site PIs.



Why is our research important?

Under-nutrition, including being underweight or stunted (short for age), is a major public health problem in Sub-Saharan Africa. There is also a problem of increasing overweight and obesity, particularly in the expanding urban areas. This “Double Burden” presents challenges when developing interventions and policies to improve health. We aim to improve both aspects of this double burden to achieve optimal health for all.

Work Package 1: Policy review and stakeholder engagement activity

This work involves a thorough review of documented in-country nutrition policy relating to the first 1000 days (conception to age 2 years) in each of the study settings.

We are also arranging meetings with stakeholders including national and local government officials, health professionals, academics working in maternal and child health research, NGO representatives (e.g. Red Cross), members of international agencies such as the UN World Food Programme to understand their perspectives and priorities for better maternal and child health.

Work Package 2: Survive and thrive in sub-Saharan Africa: review of interventions in the first 1000 days plus

This work package includes a synthesis review of published and grey literature on interventions aimed at improving maternal and child nutrition and health. We are including a wide range of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions in our search strategy. Papers reporting the findings across WP1 & WP3, plus a synthesis of existing literature on nutrition based interventions including:



Work Package 3: Approach to economic case

A multi-disciplinary team including Health Economists based at PRICELESS, University of Witswatersrand will use published literature, information from other INPreP Work Packages and economic modelling to create an estimate of the improvements to health outcomes in relation to the cost of interventions.

Work Package 4: Qualitative research with local community members

This qualitative work aims to understand the needs from the perspective of people living in places where under- and/or over-nutrition are prevalent. We are conducting focus group discussions with men and women of different ages in Nanoro, Burkina Faso; Navrongo, Ghana; and Soweto, South Africa to get their insights into which interventions might be effective. Based on these findings we will be using the “Choosing Healthplans All Together (CHAT) tool along with the community to inform decisions about candidate interventions based on effectiveness and cost.



Work Package 5: Quantitative analysis of existing data on health and nutrition outcomes

In each of the three African sites, we will use regional and population based data and reports to determine:

How population based strategies have impacted maternal and child health.
Environment (physical and behavioural) impact on maternal and child health. 
This work will be done using secondary data and review of reports in each country.


Work Package 6: Evaluation of feasibility and acceptability of two candidate interventions

The findings from work packages 1-5 will inform the selection of two candidate interventions that will be tested for feasibility and acceptability in the study settings. Based on the findings from this feasibility study we will design and develop larger scale interventions to be rolled out in the study settings and beyond.

Training and Capacity Building

Throughout the project we will be building the capacity of the teams both in Africa and the UK. Research Assistants, Masters students and PhD students are working on the project and will be developing their research skills. As well as obtaining academic qualifications, this will include activities such as: training in dietary assessment and using qualitative data analysis software; attending international conferences and presenting INPreP work; gaining experience of working within an international and multi-disciplinary team.

Full Research Title

The NIHR Global Health Research Group on leveraging improved nutrition preconception, during pregnancy and postpartum in Sub-Saharan Africa through novel intervention models, Southampton 1000 DaysPlus Global Nutrition, at the University of Southampton


This research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (16\63\154) using UK aid from the UK Government to support global health research. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the UK Department of Health and Social Care

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