Sawhney, Monika
Dr. Monika Sawhney talks to students about the Child Obesity Awareness Campaign May 19 at Highlawn Elementary School.

Dr. Monika Sawhney of the Marshall University College of Health Professions served as co-author for two articles published last month in The Lancet on research related to child health and maternal health. The Lancet is one of the world’s leading general medical and specialty journals in oncology, neurology and infectious diseases.


Sawhney, director of the undergraduate public health program in the college, said her research began last summer after traveling to Greece for the Global Burden of Disease workshop held May 7-17, 2013.


“This has been an international effort through the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) to address maternal and child mortality throughout the world,” Sawhney said. “The United Nations established MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) to decrease maternal and child deaths by 2015. If we continue on this path, child deaths will fall from more than 6 million in 2013 to fewer than 4 million in 2030.”


Sawhney was one of more than 40 authors who worked on this study with her major emphasis and contribution for countries such as India, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The results of each article were featured in the Science Daily Journal on May 2.


According to the journal,the first installment in IHME’s new updates to the Global Burden of Disease study shows that child death rates dropped by 48 percent globally between 1990 and 2013. Maternal deaths also decreased over the same period, though 293,000 women still died in 2013 from pregnancy-related causes. The majority of countries have seen faster declines in maternal and child deaths — with child deaths reduced by 3.5 percent per year since 2000 and maternal deaths by 2.7 percent per year since 2003.


“Working on an international project such as this demonstrates the importance of an organization like IHME and the impact it has on our world,” Sawhney said. “My collaboration with IHME has placed Marshall University on the international front and future work will increase partnerships with people all across the world who are working toward improvements in children’s health and wellness.”


To read more about IHME’s initiatives toward improving the Global Burden of Disease, view The Lancet articles online at and For more information on Marshall University’s department of public health and its work toward improving maternal and child health, contact Sawhney at or visit online.