GAPPS In The Media


Report on Immunization Safety in LMICs Featured in Vaccine Safety Quarterly

Monitoring safety of maternal immunizations in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) presents several unique challenges. GAPPS, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and input from over 70 technical experts and key stakeholders, conducted a landscape analysis of maternal, neonatal and child health surveillance in LMICs, identified key gaps, and outlined a roadmap for program development and implementation of safety monitoring for maternal immunizations in LMICs. This work was recently featured in the January 2018 issue of the Brighton Collaboration’s Vaccine Safety Quarterly Newsletter.


Maternal Immunization Safety Monitoring in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Roadmap for Program Development

The Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS), with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and input from a broad array of coauthors and stakeholders, developed a landmark report that summarizes the literature and existing systems for monitoring the safety of maternal immunizations in LMICs. The report includes an analysis of MNCH surveillance in LMICs, identifies gaps, and outlines a roadmap for program development and implementation of safety monitoring for maternal immunizations in LMICs. This landscape analysis was a catalytic process, demonstrating the breadth of efforts in this area and bringing together a range of organizations and stakeholders from industry, academia, regulatory agencies, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, WHO, UNICEF, and the maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) organizations to develop a cohesive strategy.

Every Preemie—SCALE Convenes Partners around Respectful Newborn Care

The first month of life is the most vulnerable time for a child’s survival. In 2015, 2.7 million children died in the first 28 days of life and 1.3 million were stillborn. Addressing access to quality, equitable, and respectful care around the time of birth and during the neonatal period is critically important for maternal and newborn survival. On September 26, 2017, Every Preemie—SCALE convened a group of technical experts in Washington, DC to explore issues around providing respectful care to newborns.

Multi-country Situation Analysis of Inpatient Care of Newborns and Young Infants

The Every Preemie – SCALE project has finalized a protocol and tools for a multi-country situation analysis of inpatient care of newborns and young infants in select countries in Africa and Southeast Asia. This multi-country situation analysis will assess service readiness and quality of care by examining health system structures and facility processes for inpatient care of sick newborns and young infants from 0-59 days old.

Every Preemie—SCALE Launches Do No Harm Technical Briefs to Improve the Safe and Effective Use of Key Inpatient Newborn Care Interventions

Complications due to preterm birth are the leading cause of child mortality globally. While 90 percent of extremely small newborns survive in high-resource settings, only ten percent survive in low-resource settings. The complexity of care, use of technology, limitations of staff and inadequate infrastructure, compounded by the underlying vulnerability of sick and preterm newborns, can result in unintentional harm. Highlighting the need for a focus on safe and effective inpatient care in low-resource settings is an important step to avoid harm and improve health outcomes for newborns.


Timing Labor: Developing Medications to Extend Pregnancy and Save Babies' Lives

Some 15 million babies worldwide are born prematurely every year—and nearly 1 million die from related complications. Yet the causes of preterm birth remain a mystery. Sam Mesiano, PhD, is a leading researcher working to unravel the mysteries behind preterm birth. "Dr. Mesiano is conducting exciting and novel research to discover new therapies," said Eve Lackritz, MD, former deputy director of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth.

What is the Global Burden of Neonatal Death and Disease?

Craig Rubens, MD, PhD, co-founder and former executive director of GAPPS, discusses the importance of understanding the global burden of neonatal death and disease. Additional Contagion interviews with Dr. Rubens:

This 'Uber for video' app is streaming live footage from the Olympics and helping Rio locals make money

One new Seattle startup is using a unique strategy to stream on-the-ground video from Rio while also creating a way for locals to earn money. uZoom rolled out its app this month in Rio, where it is letting people use their smartphones to live-stream from a bevy of locations — swimming competitions, late night festivities, beaches, etc. — to give viewers from around the world an alternate method to see what’s going on in Brazil during the Olympic Games. The startup is donating its profits from this month to GAPPS, a global non-profit based in Seattle that focuses on the prevention of prematurity and stillbirth.

Every Preemie-SCALE Launches Multi-Country Report on Antenatal Corticosteroid Policy and Implementation

In June 2016, the USAID-funded Every Preemie-SCALE project, a consortium of Project Concern International (PCI), Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS) and American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), finalized and launched Antenatal Corticosteroids for Women at Risk of Imminent Preterm Birth in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda: A Policy and Implementation Landscape Analysis.

My First Mother's Day

My first Mother’s Day was in 2004. I anticipated sleepless nights and lots of happiness around the arrival of my first son, Adam, due in early May. Instead, there were potted plants and sympathy cards and a single white rose in a blue vase after my son was stillborn just before midnight on April 24. Several of us learned of the work of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS) and formed the Stillborn, Still Loved guild.

Frontline Health Workers - The Key to Maternal and Newborn Health

Preventing stillbirths depends on frontline heath workers. GAPPS, in partnership with Project Concern International and the American College of Nurse-Midwives, is part of a USAID cooperative agreement called Every Preemie – SCALE, which works to provide practical, catalytic, and scalable approaches to expand the uptake of preterm birth and low birth weight interventions in 23 USAID priority countries in Africa and Asia. 


Grant Will Help VCU Identify Preterm Birth Predictors

The Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth awarded just over $378,000 to help VCU researchers in their search for predictors of preterm birth and other adverse pregnancy outcomes. Dr. Gregory Buck is leading the study. The team, he said, is looking at the roles of the microbiome, microorganisms and their genetic material in the human body, and its impact on the reproductive tract.

VCU receives grant to look for indicators of preterm birth

Virginia Commonwealth University has received a grant from the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth to look for predictors of preterm birth and other adverse pregnancy outcomes in pregnant women. The two-year Human-Microbiome Alterations Predictive of Prematurity (HAPP) study will expand on two earlier studies under the National Institutes of Health’s Human Microbiome Project that looked at microbial communities in pregnant women and how changes in communities of bacteria, viruses and human cells affect women’s health.

Using Big Data to Predict and Prevent Preterm Birth

The Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth(GAPPS), is announcing three new projects that will use big data to help discover the root causes of preterm birth and identify potential targets for interventions to improve pregnancy health. In this case, big data is defined as large and complex data sets generated from biological components like molecules and cells, which require computational and mathematical modeling to interpret.

No Life Too Small: World Prematurity Day 2015

Worldwide, momentum is building to dramatically reduce newborn deaths, as catalyzed by the Born Too Soon and The Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirths (GAPPS) reports and the Every Newborn Action Plan. These and other initiatives, including Every Preemie - SCALE, the Healthy Newborn Network, Survive and Thrive, USAID's Maternal and Child Survival Program, and the forthcoming Public-Private Partnership to Prevent Preterm Birth, are aligning efforts to save lives across the globe using evidence-driven strategies and proven interventions.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day: This is how to help

Said Sarah Alexander, spokesperson for the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS): "At GAPPS we value stories of loss because they demonstrate how much we still have to learn about pregnancy … [T]hey remind us every day of the research that is needed."

Seattle’s global health community has strong presence in China

While the Gates Foundation is clearly the primary driver of the region’s worldwide leadership in global health, and perhaps in helping create many of the biomedical bridges between China and Northwest, Cohen said it’s important to recognize all of the other organizations making similar collaborative inroads – Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center working with Chinese scientists on the infectious disease connection to cancer,’s work on access to water, studies of child respiratory illness by the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth, the Infectious Disease Research Institute exploring how to improve vaccines, and so on.

Premature Birth vs. Full-Term Birth: What's the Difference?

Premature births are much more common than you'd think. "Worldwide, 15 million babies are born preterm every year, including about 1 in every 9 babies in the United States," says Dr. Craig Rubens, former executive director of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth. This large number includes some non-spontaneous births, such as those induced due to maternal pre-eclampsia or hemorrhage, but about two-thirds are spontaneous, with the mother going into labor without medical intervention.

A click on the computer can help moms in Bangladesh

Dr. Helen Feltovich is a high-risk obstetrician at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo and has created a new project for equipment to help those in need. “I went to Bangladesh last October,” she said. "I was to teach midwives in the field how to do gestational age dating in the field. They were collecting samples at time points during pregnancy. I oversaw the quality assurance for the group of PPB investigators."

PPB is the Preventing Preterm Birth Initiative. It is composed of nine investigators who were granted funds from the Global Alliance for Prevention of Prematurity and Stillbirth, in partnership with the Gates Foundation.

Caring for Every Preemie, Every Day

In 2012 a team of international organizations, academic institutions, and United Nations agencies released Born Too Soon, a landmark publication calling for increased action to prevent preterm birth, better manage pregnancies, and improve care for preterm babies. PCI, in partnership with the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS) and the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) is answering the call to action through its USAID-funded Every Preemie--SCALE project.

Immigrant parents might be at greater risk of stillborn births, Ontario study suggests

Nearly three million babies are born every year without any signs of life, a phenomenon that remains poorly understood by medical science. But a new study by Ontario researchers suggests that some parents who are immigrants might be at greater risk of having a stillborn birth. Smoking in the three months prior to pregnancy also increases the risk by about 50 per cent, said Dr. Michael Gravett, scientific advisor with Seattle’s Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth.

Make it to Forty Weeks

"We're recognizing that the last few weeks matter," explains Michael Gravett, M.D., scientific advisor of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth. "Babies born at 39 weeks have fewer immediate problems versus those born at 37 and 38 weeks. And down the road, they do better on tests of intelligence and gross motor skills."

Losing weight before pregnancy is healthier for mom, baby

In addition to a propensity for obesity, the obese mom's baby is more likely to have a neural-tube or heart defect, be stillborn or suffer birth injuries. The baby is more likely to be premature too, according to the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth. Prematurity increases the baby's chances of becoming obese, so a vicious cycle begins.

A pregnant woman focused on a healthy birth, but she didn’t know about stillbirth

U.S. doctors can offer pregnant women little help in assessing their risk for stillbirth and even less help in preventing it. “It is one of our most under-attended health issues,” says Seattle pediatrician Craig E. Rubens, former executive director of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth. "And yet nationally, we have 25,000 stillbirths each year. Despite modern obstetric technology and screening for infections, we still lose babies in the womb. And our general knowledge of why this happens remains poor. We really need more science and research to understand what leads to stillbirth."


Newborn Death Rate Drops in US

The death rate of U.S. newborns during the first week of life has decreased by 8 percent in recent years, but the rate of stillbirths late in pregnancy has held steady, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Until recently, preterm births in the United States had been increasing, said Dr. Eve Lackritz, former deputy director of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth.

We don’t know how to prevent the new leading killer of children

A still little-known global problem just garnered a dubious honor. Preterm birth, babies born too early, is now the leading killer of children around the world. We may now know what kills the most children, but doctors are largely unable to predict whether or not a pregnant mother will give birth too early. “If you stood 100 women up in a room and asked me to pick who would have a preterm episode, I couldn’t tell you,” said Dr. Craig Rubens, former executive director of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS).

Study: Preterm Birth Complications Leading Cause of Death for Young Children

Complications from preterm births now outrank all other causes of death for young children. Some $250 million worth of intensive research is getting underway through four major initiatives: the Global Coalition to Advance Preterm Birth Research; the March of Dimes; the University of California at San Francisco’s Preterm Birth Initiative; and the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth.

Preterm Birth: Forging the Path to Prevention

GAPPS former Deputy Director Dr. Eve Lackritz writes: "Tackling the scientific complexities of preterm birth will require the same vision, commitment and direction dedicated to the other leading causes of childhood mortality. The global public health community has taken the challenge head-on." 

Preterm Birth: The Next Great Frontier in Global Health

GAPPS former Deputy Director Dr. Eve Lackritz blogs about her trip to Bangladesh to help set up a new research site as part of the Preventing Preterm Birth initiative: "We have come to help support the work of icddr,b to address the next frontier – the one area of child survival that has seen the most limited gains: the relentless burden of death of newborns. We arrive to help support the development of research studies of pregnant women, to establish ways to monitor women throughout their pregnancies, and start to unravel the complex and elusive systems that regulate pregnancy and cause preterm birth."

"We're Number One" is No Reason to be Proud

The Global Coalition to Advance Preterm birth Research (GCAPR) is introduced by GAPPS former Deputy Director Dr. Eve Lackritz. Sixteen organizations from around the world have signed on as members of the organization, expressing their desire to increase collaboration, efficiency, and funding of preterm birth research.

New scientific review reveals huge gaps in understanding preterm birth

Preterm birth is now the leading cause of death for children under 5 worldwide, and a new scientific paper reveals a startling lack of knowledge about what causes it and how to prevent it. "There are not enough resources dedicated to researching the complex problem of preterm birth and its prevention," said lead author Craig Rubens, MD, PhD, former executive director of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS).

VCU project looks at role of the microbiome in preterm birth and neonatal health

The Integrative Human Microbiome Project Research Consortium is collecting multi-omic data about the human microbiome, which contains the billions of microbes that live in or on the human body. "Our objective is to identify the microbial components that contribute to problems in pregnancy and preterm birth,” said Gregory Buck, Ph.D. Women participants are being recruited from VCU’s women’s clinics and hospitals, and from the GAPPS Repository of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth.

Health institutions tackle high rate of preterm birth

The Global Coalition to Advance Preterm birth Research (GCAPR) is a partnership initiated by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the March of Dimes Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth. A total of 16 institutions are now members of the Coalition, which will advance needed research into the field of preterm birth.

Training Physicians for Empathy

Improving Clinical Management of Stillbirth is an educational session sponsored by the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS) and the University of Washington. The program was created to give residents a better perspective of what parents go through during a traumatizing medical event.


Mysterious Stillbirths Baffle Doctors, Anguish Parents

"For the most part, we really don't understand what the triggers are that put a particular baby at more risk," said Dr. Craig Rubens, former executive director of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth. "There needs to be more research. We need to understand why babies are dying and find new ways to prevent it from happening in the first place."

U.S. preterm birth rate falls again but remains high

The percentage of babies born prematurely in the United States fell for the sixth straight year, but the problem remains more common than in most other industrialized nations. Making more progress, in the USA and around the world, will mean learning more about why so many babies are born too soon, says Craig Rubens, executive director of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth, based at Seattle Children's Hospital.

Stillbirth Haunts American Families More Than You Might Think

New mothers are not supposed to leave the hospital with empty arms. To arrive in labor and depart in mourning is to upend the way the world is supposed to be. "Born In Silence" is the title of the illuminating video by the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth, which Upworthy is featuring today. Stillbirth visits an American family once every 21 minutes, GAPPS reports, and this video tells a handful of those stories.

Researchers hope to predict premature births with at-home test

A device as simple as a home pregnancy test could soon be used to tell expecting mothers around the world if they are at risk of delivering their baby early. With a $1.4 million grant from Seattle Children’sGlobal Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth, they will try to identify which vaginal bacterial infections are associated with preterm births and develop a test to identify those bacteria among pregnant women.

UW doctor developing at-home test for healthy babies

Dr. Kristina Adams Waldorf is a practicing Obstetrician and Associate Professor at the University of Washington. She's part of a team that wants to design an easy way to identify women at risk for having a preterm birth. Dr. Waldorf and her team are being given a $1.4 million grant by GAPPS, the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth.

VCU receives NIH grant to examine how vaginal microbes influence pregnancy in women

Virginia Commonwealth University has received a federal grant to study how microorganisms found in the vagina influence health and disease in women and their babies during pregnancy, labor and birth. The Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS), will assist the VCU team in recruitment of participants in this project. Craig E. Rubens, M.D., Ph.D., executive director of GAPPS, will lead the Seattle-based work.

Preemies: Loving and Nurturing the Tiniest Tots

Nearly 9,000 babies are born preterm in Washington state, says Dr. Craig Rubens, cofounder and executive director of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS). Rubens encourages expectant mothers to ask questions and talk to their doctor about their potential risk factors — which can include smoking, stress and a previous preterm birth.


World Prematurity Day: 5 Ways to Reduce Preterm Births

“This is not just happening in the developing world,” says Dr. Craig Rubens, executive director of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS) and a study author. “It’s also a huge problem in the developed world. The U.S. has one of the highest rates of prematurity in the world. Getting people and funders and policymakers to understand that is a huge burden.”

Infant deaths: Searching for answers in Mississippi

Poverty, low socioeconomic background and low education contribute to high preterm birth rates, said Dr. Eve Lackritz, senior program officer for the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth. Lackritz was once the branch chief for the CDC's maternal and infant health division.

Strategic Alliance Could Reduce Burden of Preterm Birth

A strategic alliance, including researchers, funders, and key stakeholders in the fields of pregnancy, childbirth, and early life, will help alleviate the lack of consensus among researchers about how to prevent the adverse outcomes of pregnancy, according to research published in the November issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.  

Dr. Craig Rubens Appointed Chair of the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC)

Craig E. Rubens, MD, PhD, has been named Chair of the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), marking the first time a pediatric infectious disease specialist has been appointed to the position. ICAAC is the world's premier meeting on infectious diseases and antimicrobial agents, organized by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).  

Filling the Knowledge Vacuum

The human body is so intricate and elaborate that it takes teamwork among specialists at many levels to address complex health problems. As the second-leading cause of death for children under 5 around the world, preterm birth is a critical issue that has suffered from a lack of coordinated research efforts.

Gates CEO Raikes brings global health focus to life sciences conference

In the Puget Sound region, the nonprofit global health and development sector is irrevocably intertwined with the biotechnology and medical device industry. At the WBBA conference, attendees had the opportunity to hear from the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS), an effort that has a specific Global Action Agenda focused on serving people in the developing world.

Healthy Birth Critical to Child Survival

Caring for newborns and young children is only half the battle. Safer and healthier pregnancies will put every child in a better position to live a long and healthy life. That's why in addition to increasing the delivery of new healthcare technologies, it is equally important that we study what happens during pregnancy.

Long-Term Effects of Premature Birth

Dr. Craig Rubens, head of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS), discusses the increasing rates of premature birth and long-term health effects. Tiny Footprints Guild member and mother of premature twins, Jennifer Sinconis, shares about her personal experience.

Shining A Light on the Global Preterm Birth Crisis

Premature birth happens every day—frequently with devastating consequences—and yet we know very little about the causes or how to prevent it. I was one of the broad array of experts who contributed to the recent report Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth, which featured the first-ever country-level estimates of preterm birth, and the statistics paint a grim picture.

Seattle Children’s Sets Up Rare Biobank to Study Premature Birth

Money may be the key fuel that drives biomedical research, but even if you’ve got money, it’s hard to get very far without good tissue samples. Now a group at Seattle Children’s Hospital aims to tackle that problem by setting up an unusual biobank of specimens, open to scientists all over the world, which could become a gold mine for discoveries about premature birth and newborn health.


Preventing Preterm Birth Is Long Overdue

I was born on December 25th, more than a month before expected, as a surprise “Christmas present” for my family. Like many preterm babies, I was small and had trouble breathing on my own. That’s why I’m excited that the Gates Foundation is teaming up with the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS).

A Baby Step Forward

This week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a new Grand Challenges in Global Health program – Preventing Preterm Birth. The Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS) was awarded a $20 million grant to lead a global effort to increase the chances of healthy pregnancies and births.