Global research priorities on COVID-19 for maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

COVID-19 Research Prioritization Group on MNCAH

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Background This research prioritization aimed to identify major research gaps in mater-
nal, newborn, child and adolescent health (MNCAH) to help mitigate the direct and indi-
rect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods We adapted the Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative methodology. We
defined scope, domains, themes and scoring criteria. We approached diverse global experts
via email to submit their research ideas in MNCAH and MNCAH-related cross-cutting/
health systems area. We curated the research ideas as research questions (RQs) and sent
them to the consenting experts for scoring via the online link. For each RQ, the research
priority score (RPS) was calculated as an average of individual criterion scores and ranked
based on RPS in each area.
Results We identified top-ranked 10 RQs in each maternal, newborn, and child and ado-
lescent health and 5 in the cross-cutting/health systems area. In maternal health, indirect
effects on care, measures to improve care, health risks and outcomes, and preventing and
managing SARS-CoV-2 infection/COVID-19 disease were priority RQs. In newborn health,
clinical characterization and managing SARS-CoV-2 infection/COVID-19 disease, mode of
transmission and interventions to prevent transmission were the focus. For child and ado-
lescent health, top-ranked RQs were indirect effects on care, clinical status and outcomes,
interventions to protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection/COVID-19 disease, and educational
institute-related RQs. The cross-cutting RQs were the effects of the pandemic on availabili-
ty, access, care-seeking and utilization of MNCAH services and potential solutions.
Conclusions We call on partners, including governments, non-governmental organizations,
research institutes, and donors, to address this urgent research agenda.
Original languageEnglish
Article number05026
JournalJournal of Global Health
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2021


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