The University of Iowa

In the news: UI partners with Congolese community for pregnancy health research

April 16th, 2019

Katie Ann McCarver, The Daily Iowan

Four years ago, a family physician at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics discovered a pattern of adverse outcomes among the Congolese patients.

In an effort to understand and serve the changing demographics of the community, she reached out to UI public-health Assistant Professor Will Story. Together, the pair laid the foundation for community-based participatory research that focuses on understanding prenatal and pregnancy health in the Congolese community by partnering with the latter to learn about people’s needs and concerns.

First, Story said, the Congolese were trained in methods of community-based research, taught how to facilitate focus group discussions, and determined what their needs were.

“We did more than 50 interviews of men and women in our Congolese community in their native languages: French, Lingala, and Swahili,” Story said. “From that, we identified some of the major barriers and concerns in the community.”