About Us

A. What is the Mother-Child Health International Research Network?

B. Who are We?

C. Financial Support

D. Aims

E. Historical Background

What is the Mother-Child Health International Research Network?

The Mother-Child Health International Research Network provides tools aimed at promoting scientist-to-scientist communication and collaboration among maternal and child health scientists working in Developed and Developing countries. Currently, the core of the network is this website. Current features include:

  1. Easily accessed weblog forums to facilitate dialogue
  2. A virtual international catalogue of scientists working in various fields relevant to maternal and child health.
  3. Regular podcasts featuring interviews with scientists on matters of research training, policy or recent discoveries.
  4. Workshops on defined subjects
  5. A newsroom featuring items on related topics from around the world.
  6. Links with other important existing networks of interest
  7. Internationalization in at least 3 languages – English, French and Spanish.
    These services will always be provided free of charge to all scientists who wish to register on this website.

We expect that the Mother-Child Health International Research Network with its website: www.Mother-Child.org will help combat the crippling scientific isolation experienced by so many aspiring scientists, and in the process, help improve their productivity. With more successful local health research, better health care leading to better health can be predicted for mothers and children - particularly those in low-income countries.

Our approach is based on the following premises.

  1. Modern productive health research requires a team approach
  2. Young scientists are vulnerable to professional isolation which is a particular problem in low-income countries.
  3. Young scientists need the mentoring, protection, encouragement, and discipline that comes from interaction with colleagues.
  4. In low-income countries, where health research has had a low priority, sustained advances in health care, and health are more likely to occur when based on local solid, relevant research.
  5. The world, and the developing world in particular, would benefit greatly from the strategic development of new real research centres but for the foreseeable future this objective is impractical. We believe that accessible inexpensive information technology can be an effective cheaper substitute, promoting health researchers and health research in low-income regions.


Who are We?

The Mother Child Health Research Network began and continues under the aegis of the Inter Academy Medical Panel (IAMP) of the world’s scientific academies. Cyberinfrastructure management is based out of Montreal, Canada.
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Coordinators:
Richard Hamilton, CM MD FRCP (C)
Professor Emeritus and former Chair, Department of Paediatrics, McGill University

Dr. Hamilton’s main research interest is in the study of intestinal transport abnormalities leading to childhood diarrhea.
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Claude Roy OC, MD, FRCP(C)
Professor Emeritus and former Chair of Department of Pediatrics, Université de Montréal.

Dr. Roy’s research has focused on abnormalities of absorption and metabolism of fat, and on fatty acid nutrition.
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Technology Infrastructure Management and Virtual Communities
Steven Mansour
Mr. Mansour brings extensive experience and recognized expertise in social networking interaction to this project. He continues to work with numerous not-for-profit organizations in low income countries and for scientific groups such as the World Academy of Young Scientists, sharing his expertise in cutting edge information technology.
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Financial Support

International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Canada
Currently, IDRC funds in full the modest budget for this project. Those who work in IDRC’s extensive IT programs have provided useful comment and advice as we move forward.


Aims

We wish to create the virtual equivalent of a global health research institute focused on Maternal and Child Health. We believe that the tools adopted for virtual social networks and other web-based tools can provide many of the assets of a real bricks-and-mortar research centre. Of course, neither the physical facilities nor the valuable face-to-face interactions facilitated in a real research centre can be duplicated but IT should be an effective tool to foster scientific interactions at a minute fraction of the prohibitive costs of a) building real centres, particularly in Low Income settings and b) flying scientists around the world.

For example, the following features of modern, developed country research centre could be provided by an effective website.

Actual Research Institute (bricks and mortar) Website Virtual Equivalent
Catalogue of scientists Virtual Member Directory
Bulletin Board Newsroom items
Research Seminars Weblog discussions
Training courses Virtual distance learning platform
Collaborative studies Enhanced projects between collaborators
Mentoring face to face Mentoring on website
Secure confidential communication


Historical Background

The concept of a Mother and Child Health International Research Network evolved from discussions hosted by the French Academy of Sciences led by Professor Guy de Thé, Institut Pasteur, Paris. As a result of these discussions, the Network’s website, www.mother-child.org was born in 1998, hosted and supported by the Institut Pasteur in Paris.
In 2003, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Canadian Global Health Research Initiative) awarded a grant to support the Network. Coordinated by Professors Richard Hamilton and Claude Roy in Montreal, the website was moved from its original host site in the Institut Pasteur to Montreal, where it has continued to undergo revisions. In 2006, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Canada awarded funds to support the website.
Since its founding the Network continued to function as an approved programme of the InterAcademy Panel (IAP) and then the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP). The support provided in particular by the French Academy of Sciences, the Institut Pasteur and the Fondation des Treilles (Paris) was an invaluable asset in the early years of this project.

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