Grants awarded

Patient behaviour: investigating new determinants and exploring effects on maternal and neonatal health in Kenya


Dr Roxanne Kovacs

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

United Kingdom

Patient behaviour plays a key role in determining whether health systems are able to maintain and promote health. If patients do not seek care, do not adhere to medication or do not follow the advice they receive from clinicians, resources spent in other areas, such as training staff or improving drugs and therapies, will have little effect on health outcomes.

One area where it is crucial to study patient behaviour is maternal and neonatal health, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Every day, more than 800 women in LMICs die from preventable complications in pregnancy and childbirth.

I will focus on maternal healthcare-seeking behaviour in Kenya. I examine what determines behaviour and study the effects on maternal and neonatal health and survival. This research hopes to inform the design of policies to improve maternal and neonatal health in LMICs.