Lead Mentor: Khanjan Mehta, Creative Inquiry


2024 Impact Fellows: 

Lauren Hamamoto ‘25
Annly John ‘26
Olivia Meyer ‘27
Priya Natarajan ‘26
Meghan Young ‘26
Brooke Lee '25


Project Description:


Sierra Leone has the third-highest maternal mortality rate in the world. Over the past 4-7 years, this team developed an inexpensive (2-cent) test strip that can be used by frontline health workers to screen women for urinary tract infections and preeclampsia. After receiving regulatory approval for the device from the Pharmacy Control Board, the team worked with a non-profit, World Hope International, to mobilize communities, train health workers, and distribute the test strips (under the Ukweli Test Strips brand) to reach a population of ~500,000 people. Expanding access to the test strips is suspended until a larger grant or social investment can be obtained to scale the project to other districts and neighboring countries.

Acting on a request from the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Health and Public Sanitation, the team conducted original qualitative research in understanding women’s perceptions of cervical cancer screening, treatment, and vaccination with a follow-up study on how attitudes towards sexuality and sexual behaviors influence health-seeking behaviors. These insights will help the health ministry and various non-profits to develop effective messaging and mobilization strategies. Future work will focus on cervical cancer prevention and sexual and reproductive health for women in Sierra Leone in close cooperation with World Hope International, health ministry, and other stakeholders. 

All majors are welcome. We want students who are passionate about women’s health in global settings and who have, or want to develop, skills in 1) qualitative research, 2) grant writing, 3) health communications.