1: Describe the 5 major stakeholders for your project and their motivations.
One of the largest stakeholders the Ukweli Test Strips project has is World Hope International. As a partner to Lehigh University and the Test Strip Project, WHI works with us to help train healthcare workers in terms of administering the product. In addition to the training of health workers in the communities, they also employ the people who transport the strips from Freetown to Makeni, and also have the jobs of distributing the strips from the WHI office in Makeni to the Peripheral Health Units.
Another stakeholder present in Sierra Leone for the Ukweli Test Strip project is the Community Health Workers, otherwise known as the CHWs. The CHWs are responsible for screening pregnant women who show signs of having a UTI, and also are in charge of referring women who test positive through our test strips to PHUs. In addition, the CHWs receive some income through selling the test strips. So while their motivation may be monetary related, motivation could also come from the fact they are the most active members in getting initial help for at risk pregnant women.
The women who are going to be tested with the strips also fall under the category of stockholders for this project. Obviously, as a pregnant mother, especially as a pregnant mother in the nation with the highest maternal mortality, taking all the steps necessary in order to be as healthy as possible for birth is critical. With our test strips providing an effective, and also a cheap or free option to identify a major factor in the high maternal mortality rate of the country, this product provides a major help to pregnant women in focusing on their health and wellbeing. For this reason, the pregnant women in and around Makeni should have a high motivation to utilize our product.
The Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) also poses as a stakeholder for our project, as they oversee the national line of health operations that ultimately ends at Community Health Workers. One of the main focuses of the Ministry of Health is focused towards the reduction of the high maternal mortality rate in the nation, so they would have a very obvious motivation in being a stakeholder for the test strips. Any product like ours, which poses a very real possibility of helping reduce the maternal mortality rate should draw interest from this stakeholder.
The workers in charge of distributing the test strips from the ports of Freetown to the communities receiving the product can also be considered stakeholders for the project. Although they do not have no part with the actual screening of the pregnant women who may have UTIs, they are responsible for the strips actually reaching the communities and villages where the screening will be done, and their salary is reliant upon delivering this product. Their motivations come in the form of a paycheck, as well as the desire to help those in need.
2: Describe 3 ways in which you will validate your project and enhance your credibility over the course of the semester.
One way the Ukweli Test Strip team will continue to increase credibility over the course of the semester could be to update and/or improve on the training of the people administering the test strips. If the professionals on the ground in Sierra Leone are not properly educated on how the product works or what exactly the product should be used towards, the test strips could be used improperly or not used when needed. This would then most likely cause the public perception of the product to fall, leading to no one wanting to use it and the project failing. Inversely, if the workers in Sierra Leone were trained as well as they could be, then they would know when to use it and the public would see them as a credible tool to use for maternal health.
A marketing license, which is what the group has been trying to obtain, would also help validate the test strips in the eyes of the communities receiving them. When people see a product being promoted, they often times consider that item as a good option. Therefore, If the test strips were given the ability to be more widely marketed to communities and it’s information be more widely distributed, more people in Sierra Leone would see it as a more viable product.
Working on and planning ways to implement the test strips in more locations outside of Makeni would also help enhance the credibility of the product. Increasing the amount of people in various areas who are exposed to the test strips would demonstrate to more people the effectiveness of our product, and therefore will increase the credibility and effectiveness of the test strip in identifying UTIs in pregnant women.