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Director, International Center for Maternal and Newborn Health

Contact Info

615 N. Wolfe Steet, Room E8153

Research Interests

International Health; newborn health; child health; maternal health; diarrhea; pneumonia; malnutrition; infectious diseases; micronutrient; zinc; urban health;
Experiences & Accomplishments
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
University of Dhaka Medical College
My current research is directed towards the improvement of neonatal, child, and maternal health in low-income countries by enhancing the understanding of the major causes of neonatal, child, and maternal morbidity and mortality by designing and testing cost-effective public health interventions against them, and by conducting evaluation and implementation research in support of large programs. I decided to focus my research efforts primarily on neonatal health because this is a much neglected area. Globally, about 3.0 million neonates die each year and there are at least an additional 2.6 million still births. About 60% of all deaths in the first year of life and about 44% of 5 deaths occur in the first 28 days of life. Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for child survival could not be achieved by many countries because of continuing high neonatal mortality. I felt that as a physician and epidemiologist I was in a unique position to make contributions in this area because of my experience with conducting numerous large field trials in the broad area of child health. In addition, I could apply the lessons that I have learnt in health systems and policy work to neonatal and maternal health. Also, my experience in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa would allow me to address this issue in those regions where the vast majority of the global neonatal and maternal deaths occur.

During the last sixteen years of my service with the IH department, I have successfully raised funds to develop large scale research projects and established partnerships and field sites. I currently have active projects in Bangladesh and Tanzania. These studies are evaluating integrated packages and single interventions to improve newborn and maternal health. The design and scope of these studies are diverse ranging from cluster randomized trials to large scale program evaluations to technical assistance to influence programs and policies.
My other interests are related to the use of evidence in policy and programs, including the development of research capacity and strengthening of public health training and education. I assist national governments, WHO and other international entities with the development of policies intended to improve public health, particularly health of neonates, children, and mothers.

Keywords: Neonatal Health, Child Heath, Maternal Health, Urban Health, Micronutrients for Health, Infectious Diseases, Community Randomized Trials, Field Trials, Operations Research, Program Evaluation, policy support.

Other university affiliations: International Center for Maternal and Newborn Health, Institute for International Programs
Honors & Awards
2017: The Carl E. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award to honor as a visionary leader by the American Public Health Association (APHA)

2012: Dory Storms recognition award by CORE group for outstanding research on new-born and child health and for vision, concern, intelligence, commitment, and love for people in the developing world.

2012: Bangladesh Medical Association of North America (BMANA) recognition award for exceptional efforts resulting in more effective maternal and newborn health program that has improved the health of the poorest of the poor including mothers, children and infants in underserved communities throughout the world.

2008: Received the “first global health faculty grant” awarded by the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health

2008: The Lancet’s paper of the year 2008

1986-1986: The International Nutrition Foundation (INF) fellowship to continue graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University

1984-1986: United Nations University (UNU) fellowship to pursue graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Select Publications
I have about 300 publications in peer reviewed journals. Several of my papers contributed to development of new national and global policies and programs.
  • Baqui AH, Arifeen SE, Darmstadt GL, Ahmed S, Williams EK, Seraji HR, Mannan I, Rahman SM, Shah R, Saha SK, Syed U, Winch PJ, Santosham M, and Black RE for the Projahnmo Study Group. Impact of a package of community-based newborn care interventions implemented through two service delivery strategies in Sylhet district, Bangladesh: a cluster-randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2008; 371 (9628):1936–44
  • Baqui AH, Rosecrans AM, Williams EK, Agrawal PK, Ahmed S, Darmstadt GL, Kumar V, Kiran U, Panwar D, Ahuja RC, Srivastava VK, Black RE, Santosham M. NGO facilitation of a government’s community-based maternal and neonatal health programme in rural India: Improvements in equity. Health Policy and Planning 2008;23(4):234–43
  • Baqui AH, Ahmed S, Begum N, Khanam R, Mohan D, Harrison M, Al Kabir A, McKaig C, Brandes N, Norton M, Ahmed S; Projahnmo Study Group in Bangladesh. Impact of integrating a postpartum family planning program into a community-based maternal and newborn health program on birth spacing and preterm birth in rural Bangladesh. J Glob Health. 2018 Dec;8(2):020406.
  • Saha SK, Schrag SJ, El Arifeen S, Mullany LC, Shahidul Islam M, Shang N, Qazi SA, Zaidi AKM, Bhutta ZA, Bose A, Panigrahi P, Soofi SB, Connor NE, Mitra DK, Isaac R, Winchell JM, Arvay ML, Islam M, Shafiq Y, Nisar I, Baloch B, Kabir F, Ali M, Diaz MH, Satpathy R, Nanda P, Padhi BK, Parida S, Hotwani A, Hasanuzzaman M, Ahmed S, Belal Hossain M, Ariff S, Ahmed I, Ibne Moin SM, Mahmud A, Waller JL, Rafiqullah I, Quaiyum MA, Begum N, Balaji V, Halen J, Nawshad Uddin Ahmed ASM, Weber MW, Hamer DH, Hibberd PL, Sadeq-Ur Rahman Q, Mogan VR, Hossain T, McGee L, Anandan S, Liu A, Panigrahi K, Abraham AM, Baqui AH. Causes and incidence of community-acquired serious infections among young children in south Asia (ANISA): an observational cohort study. Lancet. 2018 Jul 14;392(10142):145-159.
  • Lee AC, Mullany LC, Quaiyum M, Mitra DK, Labrique A, Christian P, Ahmed P, Uddin J, Rafiqullah I, DasGupta S, Rahman M, Koumans EH, Ahmed S, Saha SK, Baqui AH; Projahnmo Study Group in Bangladesh. Effect of population-based antenatal screening and treatment of genitourinary tract infections on birth outcomes in Sylhet, Bangladesh (MIST): a cluster-randomised clinical trial. Lancet Glob Health. 2019 Jan;7(1):e148-e159.
Evaluation Research to Improve Newborn Health and Survival, CARE India
Evaluation of the Acceptability, Safety and Utility of Skin to Skin Care/India
Evaluation of a Package of Community-Based Interventions on Maternal Health, Bangladesh
Etiology, Prevention and Treatment of Neonatal Infections in the Community
Healthy Fertility Formative Research (Postpartum Birth Spacing)
Community-based Interventions to Reduce Neonatal Mortality, Bangladesh
Design and Evaluation of an Integrated Safe Motherhood, Neonatal and Family Planning Program in Nepal
Newborn Thermal Care Practices in Rural India: Community-based Program to Prevent and Improve Recognition and Management of Hypothermia
Community-based Surveillance to Estimate the Burden of Typhoid in Bangladeshi Children
Development of verbal autopsy instruments in India and Tanzania
Validation of neonatal Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) and verbal autopsy
Operations research to improve newborn health and survival in the Integrated Nutrition and Health Program (INHP) II area of CARE/India
Formative Research on Umbilical and Skin Care Practices in Newborns in Sylhet District, Bangladesh (Chlorhexidine)
Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses Baseline Assessment of Childhood Morbidity and mortality in Selected Districts in India - IPEN Study 2006 (Phase I)
Impact of Umbilical Cord Cleansing with Chlorhexidine on Neonatal Mortality and Omphalitis in Bangladesh
India Urban Operations Research Project -- Phase I
Neonatal Research Analysis and Publications
Operations research to address unmet need for contraception in the postpartum period in Sylhet District, Bangladesh
Gates Grand Challenge - 13 Population Health Metrics Consortium-Developing technologies to assess population health
Impact evaluation component of Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health rapid scale-up in Africa
Design and Evaluation of Coordinated, Cost-Effective Health Services Delivery Systems for the Urban Poor in India
Hib Vaccination Assessment in Bangladesh
The effect of maternal antenatal vitamin D supplementation on neonatal immune function: A randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial
Maternal genitourinary infections and adverse perinatal outcomes
Assignment of the Causes of Deaths Using Harmonized Protocols
Assessment of the Effectiveness of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine-10 (PCV10)
Pneumococcal Vaccine (PCV) Impact Assessment in Bangladesh
The Validity of Transcerebellar Diameter in Late Pregnancy for Measurement of ..
Aetiology of Neonatal Infection in South Asia
The WHO ACTION-I/ACTION-II (Antenatal CorticosTeroids for Improving Outcomes in preterm Newborns) Trial