Findings of JA KIDS 2011 Birth Cohort study to be released today
The findings of the JA KIDS 2011 Birth Cohort study are scheduled to start being released this evening at a conference at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus.
The two-day conference, which began today, is organised by the JA KIDS research team and the Inter-American Development Bank.
The study began in 2011 and collected extensive data on the lives of Jamaican children and their families.
The cohort is made up of over 11,000 children born in all fourteen parishes across Jamaica from July 1 to September 30, 2011.
It is the second birth cohort study, with the first conducted in 1986.
“The JA Kids 2011 Birth Cohort Study is designed to identify risk factors associated with poor maternal and birth outcomes”.
“We are collecting primary, longitudinal data on the physical and emotional well-being of parents and their children in Jamaica, beginning with the first 2 years of the child’s life. It is expected that this study will have a significant impact on policies, programmes and interventions for children and the public and ultimately improve the health and well-being of Jamaica’s children by impacting health and education policy”.
Speaking at a session of the conference today, Professor Maureen Samms Vaughan, lead researcher and investigator, disclosed that 5200 women were recruited with expected delivery dates between July and September 2011 for the antenatal pre-enrollment phase of the study.
Of that amount, 1186 women provided blood samples.
However, at birth, the study captured 9600 mothers along with 3410 fathers.
It was noted that this is the largest sample of fathers interviewed for any such purposes in Jamaica.
Mothers were asked to complete a questionnaire entitled, "My pregnancy, labour and delivery", while fathers were asked to complete one entitled, "My role as a man and a father".
"The title of the questionnaire [for the fathers] was very carefully chosen because we wanted men to understand that we were really interested in them and we wanted their voices,"Samms-Vaughan said.
Samms-Vaughan added,“Our JA KIDS children and families have allowed us to understand so much about parenting children in modern Jamaica. We owe it to them and to all our children to use this information well,”.