Research title
Proposed lift-less intervention to reduce heavy lifting among Ghanaian pregnant women to reduce incidence of preterm birth and low birthweight.

Research timeline
1.8.2016 -

Adverse birth outcomes, antenatal clinics, excessive physical exertion, heavy lifting/carrying, intervention, low-and-middle-income countries, maternal occupation, shopping voucher, stepped-wedge



University of Eastern Finland
Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences
Kuopio, Finland

Type of project
Research, Development and Innovation, Collaborative research project

Funding instrument
Ministry for Foreign Affairs (ICI, HEI-ICI, N-S-S)

Head of research
Professor Kimmo Räsänen

Research team
Professor Kimmo Räsänen, Dr. Jos Verbeek, Emma Kwegyir-Afful, Dr Lydia Aziato, Professor J.D. Seffah.

University of Ghana School of Nursing & Midwifery and University of Ghana Medical School.

Contact information
Emma Kwegyir-Afful

Research publication
Open link

Record last updated

Research summary

We are proposing a three component intervention including health education, a take-home reminder card and a shopping voucher aimed at reducing heavy lifting/carrying among pregnant women in Ghana.The purpose is to reduce the incidence of preterm Birth (less than 37 weeks) and low birthweight (less than 2500 g) which are currently high in the country.
Access to funding to implement the intervention on a larger scale promises some solutions to the soaring numbers of adverse pregnancy outcomes in low and middle income countries.


Existing literature suggest negative effects of maternal heavy lifting on pregnancy outcomes.Preterm birth and low birthweight are common in low and middle-income countries.

A pilot study we conducted in August-September, 2016 indicated that, the commercial activities of most pregnant women in Ghana expose them to daily heavy lifting and carrying. The implementation of the proposed 3-component lift-less intervention was found to be feasible and acceptable to be carried out in Ghana.