Pregnancy related deaths have dropped some 34% globally since 2000, but still remain far too common. Some 2.8 million pregnant women and newborns die every year, mostly of preventable or treatable causes. Approximately 95% of these deaths occur in low and middle income countries. Early pregnancy detection can save countless lives by enabling timely antenatal care. But most women in low income countries cannot afford pregnancy tests, which can cost more than a day’s income. Many pregnancy tests are also sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity and cannot be stored for long periods under basic and harsh conditions.
Succeed Developed through a partnership between the UNICEF Office of Innovation and the Rhodes University Biotechnology Innovation Centre (RUBIC), the Smart Pregnancy Aptamer has the potential to save countless lives by making pregnancy testing dramatically more affordable, accurate and transportable in harsh environments. In addition, this new aptamer can also lead to a diagnostic that will identify potentially high-risk pregnancies to enable more rapid intervention. The UNICEF Office of Innovation is also working with RUBIC toward development of other biotech-based diagnostics for malaria and HIV/AIDS.
Towards Smart, Next Generation Pregnancy Diagnostics (Download PDF)
The Smart Pregnancy Aptamer Backgrounder (Download PDF)