Stillbirths proposals: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has called for proposals under its Task Force Program to boost collaborative, multi-institutional and interdisciplinary research initiatives to examine the issue of stillbirths. Stillbirths are a hidden tragedy that impacts millions of women and families across the world on a daily basis, ICMR officials said.
The rate of stillbirth may be one of the indicators of the quality of a country's medical system. Stillbirths have multifactorial etiologies. Early identification of risk factors and appropriate antenatal management may reduce preventable stillbirths and improve pregnancy outcomes, senior ICMR scientist Dr Lokesh Sharma said.
The India Newborn Action Plan (INAP) by the government of India now plans to bring down stillbirths to single digits by 2030. There is a need for research into the causes of stillbirth and effective prevention and treatment of these causes, the council said.
The ICMR said its expert group on stillbirths has identified three key thematic areas to prioritise and articulate research challenges. Interested applicants are required to submit concept proposals on themes such as epidemiology, diagnostics and prevention, implementation research for health system strengthening, it added.
Task force studies are national projects, centrally planned and coordinated and usually implemented on a multi-centric basis. These projects are time-bound, with a goal-oriented approach and clearly defined targets, specific time frames and conducted by standardised and uniform methodologies, Dr Sharma said.
"Under this call, collaborative, multi-centre/multi-institutional interdisciplinary research initiatives to investigate and examine the issue of stillbirths holistically will be encouraged. For implementation research, partnerships of academic/research organisation with public healthcare delivery system will be encouraged," he said.
All concept proposals for implementation research must have a co-principal investigator from public healthcare delivery systems. Proposals for knowledge synthesis in the form of systematic reviews in all the thematic areas have also been invited.
Concept proposals can be submitted online by December 30, 2022 till 5 pm. The concept proposal can be submitted for financial support through online mode only by scientists and professionals who have a regular employment in medical institutes, research institutes, universities, colleges, recognised research and development laboratories, government and semi-government organizations and NGOs.
(With agencies inputs)