The International Fetal and Newborn Growth Consortium for the 21st Century (INTERGROWTH-21st) Project is the largest collaborative global venture in the field of perinatal health research. Led by the Oxford Maternal & Perinatal Health Institute and Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Oxford, data collected over five years now informs the creation of cutting-edge clinical tools for monitoring growth and development during the first 1,000 days of life. These tools mean that, for the first time, internationally-applicable, evidence-based standards will be available when delivering critical healthcare services to mothers and infants, including new guidelines for preterm care. This project represents an exciting new step towards integrated maternal and newborn care, adding value to the continuum of care framework.
In collaboration with our colleagues at Oxford and the Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research, the Women and Health Initiative is pursuing opportunities for strategic dissemination of the tools to academic, policy and professional audiences at the global, regional and national levels. We are engaging a mix of implementation approaches to enable maximum uptake of the tools and successful integration with regional and national policies and local clinical contexts. Monitoring and evaluating our process will allow us to deepen our understandings of what it takes to implement evidence-based standards in diverse contexts. Our efforts will pay off: the use of these essential tools will strongly contribute to improving maternal and perinatal health globally and especially, in the countries with the highest burden of mortality and morbidity.