August Monthly Update

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

August is a month we want to finish! Senseless acts of violence, including shootings, new and ongoing wildfires, huge storms, lack of electricity and widespread turmoil in many countries. In such a time in the world, recognizing our strength and resilience for continuing our collaborative work to address gender inequities and inequalities becomes even more imperative with women and girls usually most affected. 

Our passion drives us to have remarkable events such as the recent Women’s Equality Day speakers with a great discussion that followed. The event delved into global menstrual health justice and hygiene initiatives. It was an honor to welcome Melissa Berton, an esteemed Forbes 50/50: Impact listee and Academy Award winner. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Pad Project, and her insights added significant value to our discussions. We also were pleased to have our very own Neville Okwaro, who currently works on the USAID Western Kenya Sanitation Project (WKSP) as the Menstrual Health and Hygiene & Gender, Youth, Equity and Social Inclusion Lead. More details on this event are available below.

See the incredible productivity this month in publications! Congratulations colleagues! Let us write some impact stories about them.

Stay tuned for exciting upcoming events in the coming months!

In health,

RTI Gender-related August Publications


  • Bahr TM, Tan S, Smith E, Beauman SS, Schibler KR, Grisby CA, Lowe JR, Bell EF, Laptook AR, Shankaran S, Carlton DP, Rau C, Baserga MC, Flibotte J, Zaterka- Baxter K, Walsh MC, Das A, Christensen RD, Ohls RK; Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network. Serum ferritin values in neonates <29 weeks' gestation are highly variable and do not correlate with reticulocyte hemoglobin content. J Perinatol. 2023 Aug 18. doi: 10.1038/s41372-023-01751-z. PMID: 37596391.
  • Browne FA, Washio Y, Zule WA, Wechsberg WM. HIV-related risk among justice- involved young African American women in the U.S. South. Health Justice. 2023 Aug 24;11(1):32. doi: 10.1186/s40352-023-00228-7. PMID: 37615878.
  • Brumbaugh JE, Vohr BR, Bell EF, Bann CM, Travers CP, McGowan EC, Harmon HM, Carlo WA, Duncan AF, Hintz SR; Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD Neonatal Research Network. Early-life outcomes in relation to social determinants of health for children born extremely preterm. J Pediatr. 2023 Aug;259:113443. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2023.113443. PMID: 37105408.
  • Carney, T., Myers, B., Browne, F.A., Kline, T., Bonner, C.P., Ndirangu, J., Wechsberg, W.M. Relationship between criminal and status offense behaviors, substance use, and HIV risk among adolescent girls and young women in Cape Town, South AfricaInt J Ment Health Addiction. 2023 Aug. doi: 10.1007/s11469-023-01130-x.
  • Chen S, Washio Y, Liu A, Acker C, Herrine G. Teaching antenatal hand expression: a feasibility study in an inner urban U.S. hospital. Int Breastfeed J. 2023 Aug 10;18(1):39. doi: 10.1186/s13006-023-00578-w. PMID: 37563682; PMCID: PMC10416364.
  • Fassett MJ, Reed SD, Rothman KJ, Pisa F, Schoendorf J, Wahdan Y, Peipert JF, Gatz J, Ritchey ME, Armstrong MA, Raine-Bennett T, Postlethwaite D, Getahun D, Shi JM, Xie F, Chiu VY, Im TM, Takhar HS, Wang J, Anthony MS. Risks of uterine perforation and expulsion associated with intrauterine devices. Obstet Gynecol. 2023 Sep 1;142(3):641-651. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000005299. Epub 2023 Aug 3. PMID: 37535968; PMCID: PMC10424817.
  • Fernandes M, Krebs NF, Westcott J, Tshefu A, Lokangaka A, Bauserman M, Garcés AL, Figueroa L, Saleem S, Aziz SA, Goldenberg RL, Goudar SS, Dhaded SM, Derman RJ, Kemp JF, Koso-Thomas M, Sridhar A, M McClure E, Hambidge KM; Women First Preconception Nutrition Trial Study Group. Neurodevelopment, vision and auditory outcomes at age 2 years in offspring of participants in the 'Women First' maternal preconception nutrition randomised controlled trial. Arch Dis Child. 2023 Aug;108(8):622-631. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2023-325352. Epub 2023 May 4. PMID: 37142335; PMCID: PMC10423475.
  • Gakunga R, Ali Z, Kinyanjui A, Jones M, Muinga E, Musyoki D, Igobwa M, Atieno M, Subramanian S. Preferences for breast and cervical cancer screening among women and men in Kenya: Key considerations for designing implementation strategies to increase screening uptake. J Cancer Educ. 2023 Aug;38(4):1367-1372. doi: 10.1007/s13187-023-02274-z. PMID: 36808563.
  • Goldenberg RL, Goudar SS, Kavi A, Krebs NF, Derman RJ, Saleem S, McClure EM. Improving maternal, neonatal and child health outcomes in low-resource settings: Translating research evidence to practice - report from The Third International Conference on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. BJOG. 2023 Aug 2. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.17609. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37530445.
  • Goldenberg RL, Saleem S, Goudar SS, Moore J, Guruprasad G, Kulkarni V, Dhaded SM, Tikmani SS, Nausheen S, Masheer S, Kallapur MG, Ghanchi NK, Harakuni SU, Ahmed I, Hwang K, Yogeshkumar S, Somannavar MS, Yasmin H, Kim J, Bann CM, Silver RM, McClure EM; PURPOSe Study Group. The PURPOSe cause of death study in stillbirths and neonatal deaths in India and Pakistan: A review. BJOG. 2023 Aug 17. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.17635. PMID: 37592743.
  • Green CE, Tyson JE, Heyne RJ, Hintz SR, Vohr BR, Bann CM, Das A, Bell EF, Debsareea SB, Stephens E, Gantz MG, Petrie Huitema CM, Johnson KJ, Watterberg KL, Mosquera R, Peralta-Carcelen M, Wilson-Costello DE, Colaizy TT, Maitre NL, Merhar SL, Adams-Chapman I, Fuller J, Hartley-McAndrew ME, Malcolm WF, Winter S, Duncan AF, Myer GJ, Kicklighter SD, Wyckoff MH, DeMauro SB, Hibbs AM, Stoll BJ, Carlo WA, Van Meurs KP, Rysavy MA, Patel RM, Sánchez PJ, Laptook AR, Cotten CM, D'Angio CT, Walsh MC; Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network. Use of term reference infants in assessing the developmental outcome of extremely preterm infants: lessons learned in a multicenter study. J Perinatol. 2023 Aug 4. doi: 10.1038/s41372-023-01729-x. PMID: 37542155.
  • Hartmann M, Roberts ST, Triplett N, Tenza S, Maboa O, Mampuru L, Mayisela N, Mbewe D, Tolley EE, Reddy K, Palanee-Phillips T, Montgomery ET. Development of a relationship counselling website to identify and mitigate risk of intimate partner violence in the context of women's PrEP use. PLOS Digit Health. 2023 Aug 14;2(8):e0000329. doi: 10.1371/journal.pdig.0000329. PMID: 37578954; PMCID: PMC10424861.
  • Hartmann M, Triplett N, Roberts ST, Lanham M, Reddy K, Tenza S, Mayisela N, Mbewe D, Maboa O, Mampuru L, Tolley EE, Palanee-Phillips T, Montgomery ET. Changes in relationships, HIV risk, and feelings towards PrEP: findings from a qualitative explanatory study among participants in the CHARISMA intervention trial. BMC Womens Health. 2023 Aug 22;23(1):440. doi: 10.1186/s12905-023-02603-w. PMID: 37608373.
  • Jessani S, Saleem S, Fogleman E, Billah SM, Haque R, Figueroa L, Lokangaka A, Tshefu A, Goudar SS, Kavi A, Esamai F, Mwenchanya M, Chomba E, Patel A, Das P, Mazariegos M, Bauserman M, Petri WA Jr, Krebs NF, Derman RJ, Carlo WA, Bucher S, Hibberd PL, Koso-Thomas M, Bann CM, McClure EM, Goldenberg RL. Trends over time in the knowledge, attitude and practices of pregnant women related to COVID-19: A cross-sectional survey from seven low- and middle-income countries. BJOG. 2023 Aug 15. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.17630. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37581947.
  • Kallapur MG, Ghanchi NK, Harakuni SU, Somannavar MS, Ahmed I, Fogleman E, Hwang K, Kim J, Saleem S, Goudar SS, Tikmani SS, Dhaded SM, Guruprasad G, Yasmin H, Yogeshkumar S, McClure EM, Goldenberg RL; PURPOSe Study Group. Group B streptococcal prevalence in internal organs and placentas of deceased neonates and stillbirths in South Asia. BJOG. 2023 Aug 2. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.17614. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37530593.
  • Karriker-Jaffe KJ, Blackburn N, Graham K, Walker MJ, Room R, Wilson IM, Waleewong O, Gilchrist G, Ramsoomar L, Laslett AM. Can alcohol policy prevent harms to women and children from men's alcohol consumption? An overview of existing literature and suggested ways forward. Int J Drug Policy. 2023 Aug 2;119:104148. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2023.104148. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37540918.
  • Lestón Vázquez M, Vilaplana-Carnerero C, Gomez-Lumbreras A, Prat-Vallverdu O, Marsal JR, Vedia Urgell C, Giner-Soriano M, Morros R. Drug exposure during pregnancy in primary care: an algorithm and observational study from SIDIAP database, Catalunya, Spain. BMJ Open. 2023 Aug 22;13(8):e071335. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-071335. PMID: 37607789; PMCID: PMC10445402.
  • Luchristt D, Carper B, Balgobin S, Meyer I, Myers D, Mazloomdoost D, Gantz M, Andy U, Zyczynski HM, Lukacz ES; Pelvic Floor Disorders Network. Characteristics associated with subjective and objective measures of treatment success in women undergoing percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation vs sham for accidental bowel leakage. Int Urogynecol J. 2023 Aug;34(8):1715-1723. doi: 10.1007/s00192-022-05431-y. PMID: 36705728; PMCID: PMC10372194.
  • Nuss EE, Hoffman MK, Goudar SS, Kavi A, Metgud M, Somannavar M, Okitawutshu J, Lokangaka A, Tshefu A, Bauserman M, Mwapule A, Chomba E, Carlo WA, Figueroa L, Krebs PNF, Jessani S, Saleem PS, Goldenberg PRL, Kurhe K, Das P, Hibberd PPL, Achieng E, Nyongesa P, Esamai PF, Liechty PEA, Bucher S, Goco N, Hemingway-Foday J, Moore J, McClure EM, Silver PRM, Derman PRJ; ASPIRIN Study Group. The impact of risk factors on Aspirin's efficacy for the prevention of preterm birth. Am J Obstet Gynecol MFM. 2023 Aug 11:101095. doi: 10.1016/j.ajogmf.2023.101095. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37574046.
  • Patterson JK, Thorsten VR, Eggleston B, Nolen T, Lokangaka A, Tshefu A, Goudar SS, Derman RJ, Chomba E, Carlo WA, Mazariegos M, Krebs NF, Saleem S, Goldenberg RL, Patel A, Hibberd PL, Esamai F, Liechty EA, Haque R, Petri B, Koso-Thomas M, McClure EM, Bose CL, Bauserman M. Building a predictive model of low birth weight in low- and middle-income countries: a prospective cohort study. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2023 Aug 22;23(1):600. doi: 10.1186/s12884-023-05866-1. PMID: 37608358.
  • Randall J, Evans K, Watts B, Smith CM, Hughes K, Earley EJ, Erickson SW, Pachter JA, Teicher BA, Smith MA, Lock RB. In vivo activity of the dual PI3Kδ and PI3Kγ inhibitor duvelisib against pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia xenografts. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2023 Aug;70(8):e30398. doi: 10.1002/pbc.30398. Epub 2023 May 4. PMID: 37140091.
  • Sauder KA, Cohen CC, Mueller NT, Hockett CW, Switkowski KM, Maldonado LE, Lyall K, Kerver JM, Dabelea D, O'Connor TG, Glueck DH, Melough MM, Couzens GL, Catellier DJ; program collaborators for Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes. ECHO Components—Coordinating Center; Data Analysis Center; ECHO Awardees and Cohorts. Identifying foods that optimize intake of key micronutrients during pregnancy. J Nutr. 2023 Aug 19:S0022-3166(23)72536-4. doi: 10.1016/j.tjnut.2023.08.012. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37604382.
  • Shankar K, Hwang K, Westcott JL, Saleem S, Ali SA, Jessani S, Patel A, Kavi A, Somannavar MS, Goudar SS, Hibberd PL, Derman RJ, Hoffman M, Wylie BJ, Goldenberg RL, Thorsten VR, McClure EM, Krebs NF. Associations between ambient temperature and pregnancy outcomes from three South Asian sites of the Global Network Maternal Newborn Health Registry: A retrospective cohort study. BJOG. 2023 Aug 15. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.17616. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37581948.
  • Swiatlo A, Curtis S, Gottfredson N, Halpern C, Tumlinson K, Lich KH. Contraceptive behavior dynamics and unintended pregnancy: A latent transition analysis. Demography. 2023 Aug 1;60(4):1089-1113. doi: 10.1215/00703370-10877862. PMID: 37470801.
  • Venkatesh KK, Walker DM, Yee LM, Wu J, Garner J, McNeil B, Haas DM, Mercer B, Reddy UM, Silver R, Wapner R, Saade G, Parry S, Simhan H, Lindsay K, Grobman WA. Association of living in a food desert and poor periconceptional diet quality in a cohort of nulliparous pregnant individuals. J Nutr. 2023 Aug;153(8):2432-2441. doi: 10.1016/j.tjnut.2023.06.032. PMID: 37364682; PMCID: PMC10447609.
  • Viswanathan M, Urrutia RP, Hudson KN, Middleton JC, Kahwati LC. Folic acid supplementation to prevent neural tube defects: Updated evidence report and systematic review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. JAMA. 2023 Aug 1;330(5):460-466. doi: 10.1001/jama.2023.9864. PMID: 37526714.
  • Yogeshkumar S, Dhananjay S, Gowdar S, Gowdar G, Kulkarni V, Byranahalli S, Goudar SS, Dhaded SM, Somannavar MS, Tikamani SS, Saleem S, Ahmed I, Ghanchi NK, Uddin Z, Yasmin H, Jackson K, McClure EM, Goldenberg RL. Morphological study of the placenta in deliveries with pre-eclampsia: Results from a prospective, observational study in India and Pakistan (PURPOSe). BJOG. 2023 Aug 2. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.17617. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37530629.
  • Young AM, Saidi F, Phanga T, Tseka J, Bula A, Mmodzi P, Pearce LD, Maman S, Golin CE, Mutale W, Chi BH, Hill LM. Male partners' support and influence on pregnant women's oral PrEP use and adherence in Malawi. Front Reprod Health. 2023 Aug 8;5:1206075. doi: 10.3389/frph.2023.1206075. PMID: 37614700; PMCID: PMC10442580.


RTI August Publication Feature

RTI International researchers recently published an article with a team of international collaborators to describe how alcohol policies can impact and potentially prevent harm done to women and children. Researchers conducted a rapid review of reviews of alcohol policy studies to understand what interventions and practices can effectively address alcohol consumption and its secondary effects. Read more: 

Karriker-Jaffe KJ, Blackburn N, Graham K, Walker MJ, Room R, Wilson IM, Waleewong O, Gilchrist G, Ramsoomar L, Laslett AM. Can alcohol policy prevent harms to women and children from men's alcohol consumption? An overview of existing literature and suggested ways forward. Int J Drug Policy. 2023 Aug 2;119:104148. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2023.104148. PMID: 37540918.


RTI August Project Wins

  • Xinyan (Janet) Guo and team on their win, Lebanon Quality Instruction Towards Access and Basic Education Improvement (QITABI 3) World Learning Incumbent, from the USAID Lebanon Mission
  • Sarah Sheff and team on their win, Developing and implementing a risk communication framework/tool for CDC, state and local health departments, from CDC/ORR
  • Felicia Browne and team on their win, Understanding and Addressing the Impact of Structural Racism and Discrimination on Minority Health and Health Disparities, from Columbia University/the National Institute of Nursing Research
  • Adam Miller and team on their win, HRV and Temp Assessment for Women with PMDD - Resubmission, from the University of Southern California


August Project Win Feature

Congratulations to Adam Miller and team on their win, HRV and Temp Assessment for Women with PMDD - Resubmission, from the University of Southern California! Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD, is a mood disorder with emotional, physical, and psychological symptoms which occur just before menstruation. This project seeks to understand the relationship between alcohol use and PMDD. 

August Event Recap

On August 24th, the RTI Global Gender Center hosted an event in honor of Women's Equality Day. This event featured Pad Project Founder and CEO, Melissa Berton, and RTI Global Gender Center affiliate Neville Okwaro to discuss efforts to address menstrual equity globally. Over 60 individuals engaged in an exciting discussion about both presentations and opportunities to contribute to the work being done to improve menstrual equity worldwide. If you are interested in viewing a recording of this event, please reach out to Isa van der Drift at

Upcoming Events


Join us for an event about current research on sexual and reproductive health in honor of Sexual Health Month.


Join us for an event about current research on the impact of alcohol on women of all ages on October 27th from 12:00 to 1:00 PM ET. Invitation to come.

Gender Science News

Individuals feel sex-specific symptoms before impending cardiac arrest
Extreme weather events linked to increases in child marriage
Research sheds light on how gender inequality in the media industry impacts job satisfaction 
New study shows algorithms promote gender bias, and that consumers cooperate
Using social media to raise awareness of women's resources