Professor Nynke van den Broek

Head of Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health; Professor in Maternal and Newborn Health; Honorary Consultant Obstetrician Gynaecologist

Professor van den Broek is an Obstetrician-Gynaecologist trained in Tropical Medicine, with recognised international expertise in global maternal and newborn health and implementation research.

At LSTM, she established and leads the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health (CMNH). This is currently one of the largest academic groups in Europe with an established and internationally relevant portfolio of work that incorporates priority interventions for reducing maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity.

CMNH works through effective links with governments and international partners across sub-Saharan Africa and Asia to promote the health of women and their babies in low- and middle-income countries through high quality research, teaching and technical assistance.

Professor van den Broek has designed and conducted large population-based randomised controlled trials of single interventions for improved maternal and newborn outcomes. She has used this experience to design and conduct implementation research programmes in multi-country settings in both Asia and sub-Saharan Africa to assess the effectiveness of complex interventions and to measure ‘what works where and how’ in real life settings. Impact has been ascertained through the development and application of innovative monitoring and evaluation frameworks. New indicators and methodology to measure availability and quality of care have been developed and applied.

CMNH aims to inform the global agenda by ensuring good data are available to measure where and why women and babies die and stillbirths occur. New tools and criteria have been developed to measure the burden of maternal morbidity and to be able to measure maternal health as an outcome.

Professor van den Broek enjoys the challenge of bringing the discipline of good research methodology to the planning and evaluation of complex development programmes that aim to strengthen health systems where this is expected to directly benefit maternal and newborn health.

At CMNH, Professor van den Broek leads a multi-disciplinary team of 50 academics, postgraduate students and programme management staff who wish to make a difference and develop, conduct and disseminate the highest quality research in the area of global maternal and newborn health.

The Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health is a WHO Collaborating Centre and a member of the Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH)

Professional Qualifications
• Fellow Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists RCOG, London 2006
• Master in Family Planning Faculty of Family Planning, RCOG, London 2001
• PhD University of Amsterdam, 1998
• Certificate of Specialist Training (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) RCOG, London 1995
• Membership of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (MRCOG) RCOG, London, 1993
• Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (DTM&H) Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerpen, 1987
• Arts (MBBS) Erasmus University, Rotterdam, 1984


Professor van den Broek supervises many PhD students. Current and recent students and topics include:

Dr Jamila Al Abri: National maternal near-miss study in Oman
Dr Mamuda Aminu: Classification of cause of stillbirth in developing country setting
• Dr Aduragbemi Banke Thomas: Social return on investment of Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care training in Kenya
Fiona Dickinson: Developing maternity patient reported outcome measures
Terry Kana Scope of practice and workload of nurse-midwives in low- and middle-income countries
Dr Mary McCauley: Improving maternal health by reducing maternal morbidity
• Dr Mselenge Mdegela: Training non-physician clinicians in Malawi and Tanzania
• Dr Abimbola Olaniran: Community health workers for maternal and newborn health: case studies from Africa and Asia
Dr Thidar Pyone: Health system governance in Kenya: an assessment at national and subnational level


Selected publications

  • All of Professor van den Broek’s publications can be requested from Caroline Hercod 

    Selected Publications

    Lambert J, Etsane E, Bergh A-M, Pattinson, van den Broek N. ‘I thought they were going to handle me like a queen but they didn’t’: A qualitative study exploring the Quality of Care provided to women at the time of birth. Midwifery 2018; in press. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2018.04.007

    McCauley M, Madaj B, White SA, Dickinson F, Bar-Zeev S, Aminu M, Godia P, Mittal P, Zafar S, van den Broek N. Burden of physical, psychological and social ill-health during and after pregnancy among women in India, Pakistan, Kenya and Malawi. BMJ Global Health 2018;3(3):e000625. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2017-000625

    Aminu M, Bar-Zeev S, van den Broek N. Cause of and factors associated with stillbirth: a systematic review of classification systems. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 2017;96(2017):519-28. doi: 10.1111/aogs.13126 Available at:

    Banke-Thomas A, Madaj B, Kumar S, Ameh CA, van den Broek N. Assessing value-for-money in maternal and newborn health. BMJ Global Health 2017;2:e000310. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2017-000310

    Banke-Thomas A, Wilson-Jones M, Madaj B, van den Broek N. Economic evaluation of emergency obstetric care training: a systematic review. BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 2017;17: 403. doi: 10.1186/s12884-017-1586-z

    Dewez JE, van den Broek N. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to treat respiratory distress in newborns in low- and middle-income countries. Tropical Doctor 2017;47(1):19-22. doi: 10.1177/0049475516630210

    Jones S, Sam B, Bull F, Pieh SB, Lambert J, Mgawadere F, Gopalakrishnan S, Ameh CA and van den Broek N. ''Even when you are afraid, you stay': Provision of maternity care during the Ebola virus epidemic: A qualitative study', Midwifery 2017;52:19-26. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2017.05.009  

    Madaj B, Smith H, Mathai M, Roos N, van den Broek N. Developing global indicators for quality of maternal and newborn care: a feasibility assessment. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2017;95(6):445-52. doi: 10.2471/BLT.16.179531

    McCauley M, Head J, Lambert J, Zafar S, van den Broek N. “Keeping family matters behind closed doors”: healthcare providers’ perceptions and experiences of identifying and managing domestic violence during and after pregnancy. BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 2017;17:318. doi: 10.1186/s12884-017-1520-4

    McCauley M, van den Broek N. The incidence of congenital syphilis in the United Kingdom: February 2010 to January 2015. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 2017;124(1):72-77. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.13950

    Mgawadere F, Kana T, van den Broek N. Measuring maternal mortality: a systematic review of methods used to obtain estimates of the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in low- and middle-income countries. British Medical Bulletin 2017;121(1):121-34. doi: 10.1093/bmb/ldw056

    Mgawadere F, Unkels R, Kazembe A, van den Broek N 'Factors associated with maternal mortality in Malawi: application of the three delays model', BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 2017;17:219. doi: 10.1186/s12884-017-1406-5

    Olaniran A, Smith H, Unkels R, Bar-Zeev S, van den Broek N. (2017) Who is a community health worker? – a systematic review of definitions. Global Health Action 2017;10(1):1272223. doi: 10.1080/16549716.2017.1272223

    Orya E, Adaji S, Pyone T, Wurie H, van den Broek N, Theobald S. 'Strengthening close to community provision of maternal health services in fragile settings: an exploration of the changing roles of TBAs in Sierra Leone and Somaliland', BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 2017;17:460. doi: 10.1186/s12913-017-2400-3

    Pyone T, Smith H, van den Broek N. Frameworks to assess health systems governance: a systematic review. Health Policy and Planning, 2017;32(5):710-22. doi: 10.1093/heapol/czx007  

    Pyone T, Smith H and van den Broek N. Implementation of free maternity services policy and its implication on health system governance in Kenya. BMJ Global Health 2017;2(4):e000249 doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2016-00024

    Smith HJ, Ameh CA, Roos N, Mathai M, van den Broek N. Implementing maternal death surveillance and response: a review of lessons from country case studies. BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 2017;17:233. doi: 10.1186/s12884-017-1405-6  

    Smith H, Ameh CA, Godia P, Maua J, Bartilol K, Amoth P, Mathai M and van den Broek N. Implementing Maternal Death Surveillance and Response in Kenya: Incremental Progress and Lessons Learned. Global Health: Science and Practice 2017;5(3):345. doi: 10.9745/GHSP-D-17-00130

    Ameh CA, Kerr R, Madaj B, Mdegela M, Kana T, Jones S, Lambert J, Dickinson F, White S, van den Broek N. Knowledge and Skills of Healthcare Providers in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia before and after Competency-Based Training in Emergency Obstetric and Early Newborn Care. PLOS One 2016;11(12):e0167270

    Chou D, Tunçalp Ö, Firoz T, Barreix M, Filippi V, von Dadelszen P, van den Broek N, et al. Constructing maternal morbidity – towards a standard tool to measure and monitor maternal health beyond mortality. BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 2016;16(1):45. 

    Halim A, Dewez JE, Biswas A, Rahman F, White S, van den Broek N. When, Where, and Why Are Babies Dying? Neonatal Death Surveillance and Review in Bangladesh. PLOS One 2016;11(8):e0159388. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159388 

    Jones SA, Gopalakrishnan S, Ameh CA, White S, van den Broek NR. Women and babies are dying but not of Ebola’: the effect of the Ebola virus epidemic on the availability, uptake and outcomes of maternal and newborn health services in Sierra Leone. BMJ Global Health 2016;1(3):e000065. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2016-000065 

    Jones SA, Sam B, Bull F, James M, Ameh CA, van den Broek NR. Strengthening pre-service training for skilled birth attendance — An evaluation of the maternal and child health aide training programme in Sierra Leone. Nurse Education Today 2016;41(2016):24-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2016.03.018

    Mgawadere F, Unkels R, Adegoke A, van den Broek N. Measuring maternal mortality using a Reproductive Age Mortality Study (RAMOS). BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 2016;16:291. doi: 10.1186/s12884-016-1084-8

    Mgawadere F, Unkels R, van den Broek N. Assigning cause of maternal death: a comparison of findings by a facility-based review team, an expert panel using the new ICD-MM cause classification and a computer-based program (INTERVA-4). BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 2016;123(10):1647-53. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.13969

    van den Broek N. Content and quality – integrated, holistic, one-stop antenatal care is needed for all. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 2016;123(4):558. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.13937

    van den Broek N. Official Development Assistance for reproductive health has increased but may not be going to those who need it the most. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 2016;123(10):1705.