The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation award $1.2 million to local researchers to help identify premature babies in developing countries

Posted on Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Preterm birth is one of the leading causes of death and illness in newborns around the world. In many low-income countries, the gestational age of a newborn is unknown. Prenatal care, including ultrasound to determine fetal age and development, is often unavailable and mothers do not always know the date of conception. Scientists from  the University of Ottawa,  the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) , and The Ottawa Hospital are leading an international team that will test whether a calculator that has successfully determined gestational age in Canada can be used in developing countries.

"We are looking for a metabolic fingerprint that could help estimate gestational age from specific molecules found in blood," said Dr. Kumanan Wilson, professor at the University of Ottawa, internal medicine specialist and senior scientist and Chair in Public Health Innovation at The Ottawa Hospital. "Knowing the gestational age of a newborn can guide assessments for that child and help determine the best post-natal care.” 

Read the press release here

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