UNSW Kirby Institute researchers will deploy easy-to-use same-day testing for sexually transmitted infections to improve maternal and newborn health in Papua New Guinea.
A UNSW Kirby Institute study is aiming in Papua New Guinea through the earlier screening and treatment of pregnant women for sexually transmitted infections.
The study will see Associate Professor Andrew Vallely, UNSW Kirby Institute, collaborate with Dr William Pomat from the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research (PNGIMR).
The team will employ highly-accurate and easy-to-use technology to conduct same-day, clinic-based testing for common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including chlamydia and gonorrhoea. If left untreated, they can lead to serious problems during pregnancy.
Associate Professor Vallely said the infections are difficult to diagnose and treat because the majority of women with an infection do not have any symptoms.
“These newly available technologies will allow us to test whether the systematic screening and treatment of pregnant women for these curable genital infections can make a real impact on pregnancy outcomes in high-burden countries such as PNG,” Associate Professor Vallely said.
The study is supported by a major new research award worth $6.7 million, funded under the Joint Global Health Trials initiative, established by the UK Department for International Development, the Medical Research Council UK and the Wellcome Trust.
The award was announced at the recent 51st Annual Symposium of the PNG Medical Society.