During November 2019, the 2020-21 RANZCOG Scholarship was presented to Dr Manarangi De Silva from The University of Melbourne.

Targeted towards young researchers, the annual two-year scholarship is awarded for clinical-based research leading to the attainment of a PhD or equivalent Research Higher Degree, in any aspect of obstetrics, gynaecology and related disciplines. 

Dr De Silva’s PhD research involves characterising the burden and risk factors of maternal morbidity and mortality in the Asia-Pacific Region.

As well as analysing data from nations in the Asia-Pacific region, including risk factors and improvement outcomes, Dr De Silva will also investigate the association between betel nut consumption and adverse pregnancy outcomes, which contribute to maternal morbidity and mortality. This involves a study with the Solomon Islands, where research has not occurred for over two decades. 

Although betel nut is a globally-used substance, it is well known for its adverse health effect outside of pregnancy. Dr De Silva’scase study research in the Solomon Islands is intended to link betel nut with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

Dr De Silva was presented with the scholarship at the Norman Beischer Medical Research Foundation by board member, Ms Anne Beischer and newly appointed patron, Mrs Elizabeth Beischer. The President of the College, Mr Vijay Roach, presided at the presentation.

One RANZCOG Scholarship is awarded annually, with an amount of $30,000 per annum for two years and the Foundation receives reports on the research undertaken.

To be eligible, the scholar must be resident in Australia.