Multiple morbidities in pregnancy: Time for research, innovation, and action

Multimorbidity is a major issue affecting pregnant women globally. Infectious diseases (such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted infections [STIs]) together with NCDs that are increasingly common in LMICs as a result of demographic, socioeconomic, and environmental changes (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, anemia, micronutrient deficiencies, hypertension, and mental health challenges) each account for substantial morbidity in pregnancy. However, the burden of their combination is less well recognized, and the impacts are not well understood. In most malaria endemic populations, the burden of multimorbidities is very high such that malaria typically co-occurs with numerous other health problems and health risks. In this editorial, the authors call for greater investment in research, innovation, and translation to drive the development of new tools, interventions, and strategies, including greater investment in this are by the industry sector. They identify main priorities for research and innovation across levels of healthcare, and the need for workforce development and health system–patient–community partnerships for care and interventions across the spectrum of reproductive, maternal, and child health.