Dr. Shivaprasad Goudar

Dr. Shivaprasad Goudar

“Our trials may not be rocket science, but they are applicable to large community settings in low income areas around the world where there is potential for large impact,” Dr. Shivaprasad Goudar proudly claimed when asked about the impact of the Global Network. At the January 2020 GN Steering Committee meeting, Dr. Goudar expanded upon his past twenty years of implementing maternal and child health research studies as the Senior Foreign Investigator in Belagavi, India.

How has collaborating with world-wide research sites shaped the Global Network?

Dr. Goudar: Though many country-specific health systems in the Network differ, the mortality burden of mothers and babies and challenges of accessing affordable healthcare are not unique. I believe that the sharing of ideas and processes between researchers across three continents makes the Global Network so impactful as we learn key lessons and mistakes from one another.
Helping Babies Breathe Training
GN training for the Helping Babies Breath Project at KLE University – Belagavi, India

How has your work with the Global Network capacity built local health workers to better serve mothers and babies?

Dr. Goudar: The First Breath trial and later development of the Helping Babies Breath Curriculum was the first attempt at training community attendants on using a bag and mask, which went on to be rolled out in 50 countries in Asia and Africa. People who never knew numbers were learning how to count heart rate and enter data using pictorial forms!
In 2018 it was estimated that 549,000 neonates died within the first 28 days of life in India.
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First Breath
Community Health Workers training for the First Breath Trial – Belagavi, India


How has the research done by the Belagavi site impacted domestic and global health policies?

Dr. Goudar: Our site first implemented a randomized control trial of oral misoprostol, showing the drug’s reduction in post-partum hemorrhage by 50% when given in the first minute after delivery. Subsequent trials supported oral misoprostol to be included in the guidelines of the Indian Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization List of Essential Medicines for post-partum hemorrhage and the United Nations Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children.
Belagavi was the lead site in the recent GN ASPIRIN trial, which showed an 11% reduction in pre-term birth for pregnant woman in LMIC.
2nd international conference 2018
2nd International Conference on Maternal and Newborn Health from KLE University - Belagavi, India


What do you see in the future of the Global Network in Belagavi?

Dr. Goudar: Though at the beginning 100% of our funding came from the Global Network, we are now funded by a variety of other organizations including WHO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UK Medical Research Council, Thrasher Research Fund, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Department of Biotechnology of the Government of India, and many more. We have even expanded our network to other medical colleges in India including Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, and even Jaipur in Rajasthan! Our site is in a great position to sustain our research, attract more funding, and benefit our community with our gained expertise.

But with all of the expansion, policy implementations and research publications, Dr. Goudar simply states that the most rewarding part of his work is the contribution to communities around the world to change people’s lives and their health outcomes. That’s why he started his work 20 years ago, and why he has made sure that Belagavi will continue their impactful research for years to come.