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COVID-19 affecting pregnancy and childbirth & maternity care services

The novel coronavirus first identified in December 2019, and has since been identified as SARS-CoV-2, has spread rapidly around the globe. The World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March 2020. To minimise community transmission, many countries have implemented travel restrictions and quarantine measures whilst health systems have made considerable changes to the way care is delivered - for all peoples, not just thought with COVID-19 disease. Maternity services, while initially not thought to be on the front line they are often not seen as an acute, intensive-care like service, being significantly impacted by the indirect effects. Each month in Australia, around 25,000 babies are born. In much of 2020, the COVID19 pandemic will affect each one– mostly indirectly as the number of cases have been low. However, even in the first 4 months of 2020, services rapidly made significant changes to the way maternity care is delivered – increased non face to face care, started telehealth or phone consultations, changed the way antenatal care is provided including use of ultrasound tests, altered women’s support in labour, changed the way the postnatal ward function and the way home-based postnatal care is delivered and started using personal protective equipment (PPE) at varying levels. We have a number of projects underway in relation to the indirect effects of COVID-19 on maternal and newborn health services. There are numerous opportunities for students to contribute to these projects from 2021 onwards.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
coronavirus, pregnancy, childbirth, maternity
Available options 
Masters by research
Time commitment 
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Physical location 
Burnet Institute

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