Ongoing Projects


We are currently conducting seven avoidable deaths projects related to drowning, snakebites, sexual and reproductive health, tsunamis, COVID-19 and networking.


Prototyping RH Kits

Full Title: Prototyping Facility and Crisis Reproductive Health Kits in Bangladesh

Duration: September 2023 to July 2024

This collaborative research project between the Avoidable Deaths Network; Reproductive Health Services Training and Education Programme (RHSTEP); Data Management Aid (DMA); and the Directorate General of Family Planning (DGFP), Government of Bangladesh is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council Impact Acceleration Account (ESRC IAA).

With the goals of i. reducing the mortality of women and girls from incomplete abortion during disasters, and ii. promoting disaster-resilient health systems, we will develop evidence, a research-based Facility and Crisis Reproductive Health Kits and Toolkit prototypes that are of high quality for scaling.

For more information, please click here.

Drowning Data Collection in LMICs

Full Title: Identifying Gaps in Drowning Data Collection in Low-and Middle-Income Countries and the Actors Addressing Them

Duration: August 2023 to May 2024

This collaborative research project between the Avoidable Deaths Network; Centre for Injury Prevention Research, Bangladesh; Department of Trauma, Injury and Disability (Epidemiology & Prevention), Makerere University; University of Cape Town; and Aston University is funded by Royal National Lifeboat Institution. This nine-month research project will study: i. how drowning data has been collected in low-and middle-income countries (LMIC) settings identifying the challenges and opportunities of the processes employed; and ii. which organisations or individuals’ work has identified challenges and opportunities in using verbal autopsy to collect context-specific and modifiable risk factors for injury deaths in LMIC settings? The findings will shed light on how drowning data is captured, and develop a minimum dataset and guidelines needed to identify modifiable risk factors for drowning for high-risk groups, as identified in the WHO’s ‘Global Report on Drowning’ in 2014.

For more information, please click here.

Avoidable Snakebite Deaths in India

Full Title: Exploring the Feasibility and Value of Pioneering Partnerships to Reduce Avoidable Snakebite Deaths in India

Duration: January to August 2023

A particularly pressing area of the opportunity for reducing avoidable deaths is snakebite deaths in India. Snakebite is a neglected tropical disease (NTD). It results from the injection of venom, a specialised toxic secretion into humans by the bite of a venomous snake. According to WHO (2021), about 5.4 million snakebites occur each year, resulting in 1.8 to 2.7 million cases of envenoming. India accounts for approximately half of all global snakebite deaths reported through traditional surveillance systems and is responsible for 2.97 million bites each year (Gutiérrez et al., 2017).

Unlike many other NTDs, snakebite is entirely avoidable through preventable, treatable interventions and governance (The Lancet, 2017; Nuñez, Alcoba and Warrell, 2019; Ray-Bennett and Sahoo, 2022). Eight Indian States, viz. Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan – carry the global burden of deaths and suffering.

In collaboration with more than 21 collaborators from India and beyond, this project aims to identify, map and assess the feasibility of context-specific key stakeholders to bring them into one networking platform in the next phase of this project to foster dialogue and discussions within and across the eastern and central Indian states; coordination, cooperation and communication amongst responders for resource sharing and response at local levels; identify scope for transformative research that combines social, medical and space sciences; and improve the capacity of local stakeholders.

In doing so the project aims to contribute to WHO’s Snakebite Envenoming Strategy for Prevention and Control which aims to i) halve the number of deaths and cases of disability by 2030; ii) empower and engage communities, iii) strengthen health systems, iv) increase partnerships, coordination, and resources (Nuñez, Alcoba and Warrell, 2019). Furthermore, this Strategy works in alignment with SDG 3.8, 3B-D, and in the context of this study through ‘Sendai Framework’s Targets A, B and E and climate change due to extreme weather events.

For more information, please click here.

Sexual & Reproductive Health in H2R Bangladesh

Full Title: Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Remote and Hard to Reach (H2R) Areas of Bangladesh

Duration: July 2022 to present

Bangladesh is exposed to natural hazards and climate risk due to its geographic location and human-induced global warming. The World Bank report on Natural Disaster Hotspots (Dilley et al., 2005) highlighted that Bangladesh is in the top 60 countries of the world that are highly prone to two or more (aka multiple) hazards (flood, cyclone, storm and drought). Despite severe physical and environmental challenges, Bangladesh is one of the few low-income countries to have met its target for Millennium Development Goal 5 by reducing the maternal mortality ratio from 322 deaths per 100, 000 live births in 1998–2001 to 176 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2013 (El Arifeen et al., 2014; Gideon et al., 2015; WHO, 2015b).  Although this is a remarkable achievement, reducing maternal mortality is still a challenge, as is improving maternal health from unsafe abortions and post-abortion complications in general, and especially so during disasters in hard-to-reach (H2R) areas (Ahmed et al., 2011; Huda et al., 2013; Ray-Bennett et al., 2021, 2019).

H2R areas are defined in terms of both their remote geographical location, as well as the population residing out of the range of development activities. Bangladesh has several H2R areas including char or newly emerged land-strip on the bank of rivers, haor, coastal areas, hill tracts, tea gardens – amongst others. These areas are highly prone to disasters and are populated by minority groups, in terms of religion, ethnicity (Mannanet al., 2019), as well as socio-economically vulnerable groups such as climate-induced refugees or internally displaced population – amongst others.

The overall objective of this research project is to increase access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in remote and H2R areas of Bangladesh.

Linked Projects: This project builds on the previous research projects titled Exploring the Challenges and Opportunities Around Reproductive Health in Disasters in Belkuchi, Bangladesh, funded by IPPF’s Innovation Fund and IPPF’s Designated Regional Fund; and Upscaling RHCC by Developing a Protocol for Low-Budget Reproductive Health Kit, funded by IPPF’s Designated Regional Fund.

For more information and updates on this project, please click here.

Dr. Nibedita Ray-Bennett has withdrawn from the project due to funding challenges. However, ADN Future Leaders are continuing with the systematic review. 

Junior Champions for Avoidable Tsunami Deaths in Japan

Full Title: School Pupils in Osaka are Champions for Avoidable Deaths from Tsunamis

Duration: December 2020 to present

In 2011, the triple disaster in Japan (tsunami, Tohoku earthquake and the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant) killed more than 19,747 people. In the aftermath of the triple disaster the central and local governments have revisited the tsunami predictions. The prediction indicates that in a worst case scenario more than 2000 deaths could take place. The predictions also indicate that if early preparedness can lead to zero deaths. Timely and quick evacuation can avoid deaths.

To prepare the “at risk” community as well as to disseminate this valuable information, this evidence-based and action-oriented research project led by Dr. Hideyuki Shiroshita from Kansai University addresses the following objectives:

  1. To engage with school pupils and “at risk” community in order to raise awareness on tsunami prediction.
  2. To produce Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials for tsunami warnings in collaboration with school pupils and the “at risk” community.
  3. To produce and conduct simulation exercises and drills with school pupils and “at risk” community in order to create a culture of preparedness for tsunamis.

The case study site for this evidence-based and action-oriented research project is Izumiotsu, a coastline port city in the central part of the Osaka Prefecture.

For more information and updates on this project, please click here.

Eastern Belt Network in India

Full Title: Eastern Belt Network in India

Duration: April 2020 to present

The aims of this project are:

  1. To identify and map the number of colleges and universities that offer programmes related to risk, crisis, disaster management, development, and avoidable deaths in the 10 eastern states of India (West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura); and
  2. To explore the feasibility of developing a network of these colleges and universities for avoidable deaths, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.

This is a collaborative project led by Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett (University of Leicester) and Dr Hideyuki Shiroshita (Kansai University) in collaboration with Srashta Chowdhury (University of North Bengal), Rwittambhara Kashyap (Tata Institute of Social Sciences), Satyajit Barik (NIIS Institution of Information Science & Management, Odisha), Biswajit Paul (University of North Bengal) and Meharaj Bano (Vellore Institute of Technology).

For more information and updates on this project, please click here.

COVID-19 in India

Full Title: Avoidable Deaths from the Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Lockdown in India

Duration: April 2020 to present

The aim of this research project is to study the current number of avoidable deaths from COVID-19, and the current number of unavoidable deaths from COVID-19 in India and Odisha. The number of deaths from COVID-19 is understood through the lens of the Avoidable Deaths Framework (ADF), one that understands disaster deaths are both avoidable and unavoidable. This is a collaborative research project led by Dr Nibedita Ray-Bennett (University of Leicester) in collaboration with Dr Hideyuki Shiroshita (Kansai University); Ms Kumiko Fukuromoto (Kansai University); Dr Vincent Pieterse (Vincent Pieterse); Dr Lopamudra Patnaik Saxena (Coventry University); Mr Daniel Mendez (ADN-RC, Belize); Mr Krishna Clarke (Caribbean Development Bank); Dr Azukaego Nnaji (Divine Aid International); Mr Lakshman Srikanth (ADN-Intern); Mr Bhola Saha (CRRP India; Royal Global University, Assam); Mr Dillip Pattanaik (OSVSWA); Dr Madhulika Sahoo (Vellore Institute of Technology); Ms Shaiza Khawaja (ADN-Intern); Anuradha Bhardwaj (Doers) and Antara Ragini (ADN-India, National Research Coordinator).

For updates on this project, please click here.