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August News

By 21/08/2018November 6th, 2018No Comments

Researchers turn to Olive Oil to help reduce maternal deaths in Uganda

Joseph Ngonzi

Researchers at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Uganda, are testing an olive oil and honey wound dressing in an attempt to reduce maternal deaths following Caesarean deliveries.

“I have seen many mothers suffer and die from sepsis; especially surgical site infection following Caesarean section,” says Joseph Ngonzi, Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

MUST Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, senior lecturer and researcher Joseph Ngonzi, has designed and is testing the dressing, called I-Dress, in Ugandan hospitals.

Ngonzi’s I-Dress is one of 100 new ideas funded by Canadian-based NGO Grand Challenges Canada in an attempt to address continuous challenges in women and children’s health in developing countries.

Ngonzi told Olive Oil Times: “We are currently developing the final product, where the gauze will be embedded with honey and olive oil and made sterile by radiation, and then test the product on women who have had Caesarean sections in three hospitals.

“We are also planning to do an acceptability and feasibility study among the clinicians about the product.”

“Puerperal sepsis is the leading cause of maternal deaths at our hospital, contributing 31%. As an obstetrician and gynecologist, I have seen many mothers suffer and die from sepsis; especially surgical site infection following Caesarean section,” he said.

According to research released by Ngonzi earlier this year, puerperal sepsis causes 10% of maternal deaths in Africa.

Explaining how I-Dress was developed, Ngonzi told Olive Oil Times: “The pharmaceutical treatment is very expensive. We thought of locally available options and materials, and found out that gauze embedded with honey and olive oil has antimicrobial ability to cause healing in infected wounds.”

“Ugandans’ attitude towards natural remedies is positive and a number of them use natural remedies in treating a couple of ailments.”

I-Dress has been found to be effective in animal specimens, Ngonzi added.

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