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Maternal and Child Health




Admissions requirements



The aim of the course is to provide insight into maternal and child health from conception onwards around the world. During this course causes of maternal mortality in low and middle income countries as well as potential solutions will be discussed. In addition to this, pregnancy and pregnancy complications and the fetal programming hypothesis are discussed as a prerequisite for child health as well as women’s health. Special attention will be given to maternal and child health outcomes (e.g. malnutrition, infant feeding practices, asthma and obesity) related to low socio-economic classes and ethnic background.

Topics that will be covered are:

  • Causes of maternal and neonatal mortality in developing countries

  • Socioeconomic inequalities in maternal and child health in developed countries

  • Life-course health research

  • Development of intervention using a social ecological approach

Course objectives

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Define the main causes and consequences of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.

  • Name the main causes and consequences of different types of malnutrition (incl. undernutrition and overnutrition) in children.

  • Explain socioeconomic differences in pre-, peri-, and postnatal health.

  • Identify how early life exposures shape cardiometabolic risk later in life.

  • Discuss how pregnancy can shape subsequent women’s health.

  • Develop and critically evaluate a targeted intervention to tackle a specific maternal or child health issue.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

Case studies (eg. specific interventions in low-income countries)
Group discussions
Student presentations


Individual assignments: commentary on socioeconomic inequalities (20%)
Group assignment (30%, individual performance will be reflected)
Student presentations (15%)
In-class participation (5%)
Written examination (30%)


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

John Ehiri. Maternal and Child Health: Global Challenges, Programs, and Policies. 2009.

Ruth White. Global case studies in Maternal and Child Health. 2013


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. Jessica Kiefte-de Jong,