The word Ukweli means "truth" in Kiswahili. Ukweli has its origins in West Africa and the Pennsylvania State University and was transferred to Lehigh with Vice Provost Mehta in late 2017. Ukweli is a point of care urinalysis screening tool for Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) and Preeclampsia. Ukweli is specific, affordable, and accessible.
The mission of Ukweli is to make sure pregnant women in rural areas have access to the correct screening tools to monitor their pregnancy and deliver safely. The rural area we are dedicated to are northern provinces of Sierra Leone, where last mile challenges prevent pregnant women from getting the healthcare they need.
Ukweli Test Strips is an equal partnership between World Hope International and Lehigh University. We have a team of interdisciplinary students, from journalism to bioengineering, who are dedicated as the intellectual base while World Hope serves as the implementation partner. Cassidy Drost, Jordan Wolman, Zach Day, Rohan Ekambaram, Naakesh Gomanie, and Sage Herrick comprise the undergraduate team. Administrative and Principal Investigator (PI) tasks are accomplished by Khanjan Mehta and Bill Whitney. Mr. Allieu Bangura serves as the main contact for World Hope International.
Overhead Costs of Ukweli Test Strips
Help us reach 6K in 6 weeks!
Our line items for this campaign are an annual salary for distribution employee in Makeni, test strips purchased from Jilin (China), local travel (especially fuel expenses), workshops training, and certifications.
Sierra Leone has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world which makes it hard for women to find accessible, quality healthcare to monitor their pregnancy. And for this reason, many women often do nothing when experiencing signs and symptoms.
In fact, 4 out of 10 expectant mothers in sub-Saharan Africa will contract a UTI during their 9 months pregnancy, and in developing nations, Preeclampsia is known to cause 10–15% of maternal deaths and up to 25% of stillbirths and newborn deaths.
Unfortunately, it is difficult for Amie to even find out if she has a UTI or if she is preeclamptic in Sierra Leone. Screening tests for UTIs or Preeclampsia are often too expensive, too complicated to interpret or simply unavailable.
Women often stay at home unknowingly, risking both their health and the health of their own baby.
Ukweli is a social venture and therefore has high overhead costs although our business model covers the cost of goods sold.