Project Lead(s): Sheldon Gilmer
Pregnant women are vulnerable to Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where 30-50 percent of pregnant women will contract a UTI. UTIs often go undiagnosed because of barriers to testing, including cost, accessibility and social stigma. For a pregnant woman and her growing fetus, this is dangerous: an undetected UTI can spread to the kidney and bloodstream and can cause premature labor, slow intra-uterine growth, low birth weight or spontaneous abortion.
In collaboration with Lehigh University, World Hope International will develop and study different distribution methods for the Ukweli Test Strip, a low-cost test for UTIs, in rural areas of Sierra Leone, where women currently lack an affordable tool for screening UTIs. The research will focus on finding the best entry point for test strips into the existing healthcare system to treat women quickly and decrease the risk of early labour.
The project will partner with local hospitals, clinics, and Community Health Workers in several communities to conduct screening and referral for treatment.