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Abdullah Baqui, MBBS

  • Director, International Center for Maternal and Newborn Health
  • Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Steet
Room E8153
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


International Center for Maternal and Newborn Health

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DrPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 1990
MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 1985
MBBS, University of Dhaka Medical College, 1976


My current research is directed towards the improvement of neonatal, child, and maternal health in low-income countries by enhancing the understanding of the major causes of neonatal, child, and maternal morbidity and mortality by designing and testing cost-effective public health interventions against them, and by conducting evaluation and implementation research in support of large programs. I decided to focus my research efforts primarily on neonatal health because this is a much neglected area. Globally, about 3.0 million neonates die each year and there are at least an additional 2.6 million still births. About 60% of all deaths in the first year of life and about 44% of <5 deaths occur in the first 28 days of life. Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for child survival could not be achieved by many countries because of continuing high neonatal mortality. I felt that as a physician and epidemiologist I was in a unique position to make contributions in this area because of my experience with conducting numerous large field trials in the broad area of child health. In addition, I could apply the lessons that I have learnt in health systems and policy work to neonatal and maternal health. Also, my experience in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa would allow me to address this issue in those regions where the vast majority of the global neonatal and maternal deaths occur.

During the last sixteen years of my service with the IH department, I have successfully raised funds to develop large scale research projects and established partnerships and field sites. I currently have active projects in Bangladesh and Tanzania. These studies are evaluating integrated packages and single interventions to improve newborn and maternal health. The design and scope of these studies are diverse ranging from cluster randomized trials to large scale program evaluations to technical assistance to influence programs and policies.

My other interests are related to the use of evidence in policy and programs, including the development of research capacity and strengthening of public health training and education. I assist national governments, WHO and other international entities with the development of policies intended to improve public health, particularly health of neonates, children, and mothers.

Keywords: Neonatal Health, Child Heath, Maternal Health, Urban Health, Micronutrients for Health, Infectious Diseases, Community Randomized Trials, Field Trials, Operations Research, Program Evaluation, policy support.

Other university affiliations: International Center for Maternal and Newborn Health, Institute for International Programs

Honors and Awards

2017: The Carl E. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award to honor as a visionary leader by the American Public Health Association (APHA)

2012: Dory Storms recognition award by CORE group for outstanding research on new-born and child health and for vision, concern, intelligence, commitment, and love for people in the developing world.

2012: Bangladesh Medical Association of North America (BMANA) recognition award for exceptional efforts resulting in more effective maternal and newborn health program that has improved the health of the poorest of the poor including mothers, children and infants in underserved communities throughout the world.

2008: Received the “first global health faculty grant” awarded by the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health

2008: The Lancet’s paper of the year 2008

1986-1986: The International Nutrition Foundation (INF) fellowship to continue graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University

1984-1986: United Nations University (UNU) fellowship to pursue graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

  • International Health
  • newborn health
  • child health
  • maternal health
  • diarrhea
  • pneumonia
  • malnutrition
  • infectious diseases
  • micronutrient
  • zinc
  • urban health

I have about 300 publications in peer reviewed journals. Several of my papers contributed to development of new national and global policies and programs.

  • Baqui AH, Arifeen SE, Darmstadt GL, Ahmed S, Williams EK, Seraji HR, Mannan I, Rahman SM, Shah R, Saha SK, Syed U, Winch PJ, Santosham M, and Black RE for the Projahnmo Study Group. Impact of a package of community-based newborn care interventions implemented through two service delivery strategies in Sylhet district, Bangladesh: a cluster-randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2008; 371 (9628):1936–44
  • Baqui AH, Rosecrans AM, Williams EK, Agrawal PK, Ahmed S, Darmstadt GL, Kumar V, Kiran U, Panwar D, Ahuja RC, Srivastava VK, Black RE, Santosham M. NGO facilitation of a government’s community-based maternal and neonatal health programme in rural India: Improvements in equity. Health Policy and Planning 2008;23(4):234–43
  • Baqui AH, Ahmed S, Begum N, Khanam R, Mohan D, Harrison M, Al Kabir A, McKaig C, Brandes N, Norton M, Ahmed S; Projahnmo Study Group in Bangladesh. Impact of integrating a postpartum family planning program into a community-based maternal and newborn health program on birth spacing and preterm birth in rural Bangladesh. J Glob Health. 2018 Dec;8(2):020406.
  • Saha SK, Schrag SJ, El Arifeen S, Mullany LC, Shahidul Islam M, Shang N, Qazi SA, Zaidi AKM, Bhutta ZA, Bose A, Panigrahi P, Soofi SB, Connor NE, Mitra DK, Isaac R, Winchell JM, Arvay ML, Islam M, Shafiq Y, Nisar I, Baloch B, Kabir F, Ali M, Diaz MH, Satpathy R, Nanda P, Padhi BK, Parida S, Hotwani A, Hasanuzzaman M, Ahmed S, Belal Hossain M, Ariff S, Ahmed I, Ibne Moin SM, Mahmud A, Waller JL, Rafiqullah I, Quaiyum MA, Begum N, Balaji V, Halen J, Nawshad Uddin Ahmed ASM, Weber MW, Hamer DH, Hibberd PL, Sadeq-Ur Rahman Q, Mogan VR, Hossain T, McGee L, Anandan S, Liu A, Panigrahi K, Abraham AM, Baqui AH. Causes and incidence of community-acquired serious infections among young children in south Asia (ANISA): an observational cohort study. Lancet. 2018 Jul 14;392(10142):145-159.
  • Lee AC, Mullany LC, Quaiyum M, Mitra DK, Labrique A, Christian P, Ahmed P, Uddin J, Rafiqullah I, DasGupta S, Rahman M, Koumans EH, Ahmed S, Saha SK, Baqui AH; Projahnmo Study Group in Bangladesh. Effect of population-based antenatal screening and treatment of genitourinary tract infections on birth outcomes in Sylhet, Bangladesh (MIST): a cluster-randomised clinical trial. Lancet Glob Health. 2019 Jan;7(1):e148-e159.