Up to 50 perfect of Ugandan women have this infection at any given time.
In rural Uganda, a trip to see a doctor can cost almost as much as an entire month’s salary. Easily treatable women’s health problems such as vaginosis are often neglected, leading to more serious health issues. That’s why a group of five Ugandan female college students who call themselves the Code Gurus have created a machine and corresponding app called Her Health BVKit that allows women to take control of their health. The easy-to-use machine-and-app system detects vaginosis and alerts women when they should seek medical attention.
While around 30 percent of U.S. women between the ages of 14 and 49 have bacterial vaginosis at a given time, in some parts of Uganda, the incidence is believed to be as high as 50 percent. Vaginosis is a common infection brought on by a bacterial imbalance in the vagina. Sex with a new partner and douching are the most common ways of disturbing the vagina’s natural flora and fauna, leading to the infection. Left untreated, vaginosis can leave a woman more susceptible to contract STDs when with an infected partner. It can also lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and strains of HPV which can cause cervical cancer.
The Her Health BVKit allows women to easily identify whether they have vaginosis by taking a small sample of urine or vaginal discharge. If positive, the women are prompted to get medical attention. Although the testing machines aren’t cheap, the Code Gurus are looking to make the testing kits available via kiosks in rural Uganda where they can be purchased collectively and shared amongst groups of women.