WANTAIM is evaluating new interventions to improve mother and newborn health in low-income countries, such as Papua New Guinea. The study will investigate if same-day, clinic-based testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections among pregnant women leads to improved birth outcomes.
WANTAIM is being carried out at ten antenatal clinics in Papua New Guinea and will take around four years to complete.
Women in many low-income countries worldwide face a high and unacceptable burden of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Curable, sexually transmitted and genital infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomonas and bacterial vaginosis, are major contributors to this disease burden but the majority of infections go untreated because:
(a) most infections are asymptomatic, and
(b) affordable, easy to use and accurate diagnostic tests are unavailable in such settings.
At the same time, there is conflicting evidence on the potential risks and benefits of screening and treatment of these infections during pregnancy, hindering policy and practice, and leading to calls for definitive field trials.
“These infections are very difficult to diagnose and treat because the majority of women with an infection do not have any symptoms. New, highly-accurate and easy-to-use technologies for STI testing have recently become available that can be used by health staff in routine clinical settings. These technologies will for the first time allow us to provide antenatal women with same-day, clinic-based testing and treatment for curable genital infections – an approach that has the potential to dramatically improve birth outcomes in high-burden countries such as PNG. This is what our trial is designed to find out.”
The WANTAIM Trial is funded by research grants from the United Kingdom, Australia and Switzerland