Sanyu Research Unit

About

‌Every day, around 800 women will die from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications. Most of these cases will occur in a low resource setting and could easily have been prevented with access to the right medical care.

The Sanyu Research Unit, based at the University’s Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, is dedicated to improving maternity care worldwide, particularly in poorer settings.

Led by Professor Andrew Weeks, the unit aims to generate sustainable improvements in maternal and infant health. Their goal is to develop and evaluate low cost technologies for clinical care that will have a direct impact on mothers all over the world.

The Department of Women's and Children's Health and the Sanyu Unit are a World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Research and Research Synthesis in Reproductive Health

Edith Sanyu was a woman who died from obstructed labour in Uganda at the time that this unit was founded. Although not well known herself, she represents the many voiceless who suffer daily through lack of resources for maternal and child health.

The word sanyu also means joy in the Bantu languages.

 Sanyu team meeting discussing the postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) butterfly.

Left to right: Dot Lambert, Sanyu Research Manager; Caroline Cunningham, Research Midwife; Andrew Weeks, Director; Achier Akol, PhD Student

For many years, women and children in low resource settings have faced enormous risks both during and immediately after childbirth. Many have died unnecessarily. Thankfully, the numbers of deaths of mothers in pregnancy has nearly halved in the last 25 years- but a woman still dies in pregnancy somewhere in the world every two minutes. We aim to find low cost ways to prevent these needless deaths.

Professor Andrew Weeks, Sanyu Director