Improving neonatal and infant outcomes using point-of-care tests for sexually transmitted infections in high prevalence settings (neoSTI project)


The project aims to improve the testing and treatment of pregnant women with sexually transmitted infections and as a consequence reducing neonatal death. By improving the health of mothers and newborn infants, societal and economic conditions can be improved.

About the project


Sexually transmitted infections in pregnancy are important but neglected causes of poor pregnancy and neonatal outcomes, including preterm birth, low birthweight, ophthalmia neonatorum, pneumonia and neonatal death. Papua New Guinea has some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted infections, such as Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, (gonorrhoea) in the world and also has poor maternal, neonatal and infant health indicators.


The primary objective of this project is to determine the effectiveness of point-of-care testing and same day treatment for pregnant women with sexually transmitted infections, compared with standard antenatal care, in preventing neonatal eye infections and pneumonia.


This project has the potential to directly improve the health of mothers and their newborn infants in Papua New Guinea and other high-burden, resource-limited settings globally. Adverse maternal and neonatal health are widely recognised as having important negative societal and economic consequences. The effective and widespread translation of our research findings into public health policy and practice could therefore also lead to improvements in wider human development indices in high-burden, resource-limited settings worldwide.

Geographic scope

  • Papua New Guinea

Research consortium


  • Prof. Dr. Nicola Low, University of Bern, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Switzerland
  • Dr. Andrew Vallely, Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research,
  • Dr. Moses Laman, Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research
  • Dr. William Pomat, Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research
  • Wilfred Peter, Modilon General Hospital, Public Relations Office
  • Pamela Toliman, Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Sexual and Reproductive Health Unit Laboratory

Project link to P3

  • Link to project on SNSF research database P3




Further information on this content


Prof. Dr. Nicola Minling Low University of Bern Finkenhubelweg 11 CH-3012 Bern +41 31 631 35 11