In 2000 it was estimated that over half a million women died in pregnancy or during childbirth, and that 98% of these deaths occurred in the developing world. This represents a striking health risk differential between richer and poorer nations. For women in Asia the lifetime risk of a maternal death is one in 65 compared with one in 1,800 for women in developed countries.
By establishing a network of researchers and teachers of evidence-based health care across four South East Asian countries, supported from Australia, this collaborative project aimed to improve the clinical practice of treating pregnancy and childbirth related disorders and so enhance the health outcomes of mothers and infants in SE Asia.
SEA-ORCHID was a five-year project (2004-09) involving centres in Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia. These centres were supported by investigators and educators based at three centres in Australia (University of Adelaide, University of Sydney and Monash University).
SEA-ORCHID was jointly funded by an International Collaborative Research Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (No. 307703) and Wellcome Trust, United Kingdom (071672/Z/03/Z).