Save mothers' lives for less: a self-test that detects a leading cause of maternal mortality for a fraction of the price


$100,000 | Stage 1: Proof of Concept | Global Health

Jhpiego | Nepal

The problem: Maternal mortality caused by pre-eclampsia 

Pre-eclampsia and its more serious progression, eclampsia, are the third leading cause of maternal deaths worldwide. Current tests, which involve lab work or multiple trips to the health center, are too costly for poor women. This grant supported further development of a pen-like technology that can cheaply and easily test for pre-eclampsia at home. 

The solution: Perfecting the pen

Jhpiego, with support from a DIV Stage 1 grant, developed an affordable, reliable self-test to detect pre-eclampsia among pregnant women. After extensive lab-based testing, Jphiego obtained a DIV grant to test the pen in a community setting in Nepal, where they discovered that further improvements to the prototype were needed prior to its large-scale roll out.

The potential: Cost-effectiveness, impacts, and implications 

Although Jhpiego ended the field test early, they were able to gain important insights into the functionality of the pen in a real-world setting, while also learning that pregnant women and community health workers were correctly interpreting the test results based on Jhpiego’s training efforts. Jhpiego engineers are currently exploring solutions to be able to manufacture new prototypes for future field testing.


Last updated: May 26, 2016

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