Nigeria: The Empowering Impact Of Ultrasound In Pregnancy

Posted on September 28, 2023

The Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) and GE HealthCare have taken a significant step towards improving maternal and fetal outcomes in Nigeria by signing a Strategic Cooperation Agreement (SCA) to equip midwives and nurses with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively use ultrasound machines.

This initiative aims to empower healthcare providers with the tools to deliver better care to expectant mothers and their unborn babies. As part of this collaboration, GE HealthCare has donated eight Vscan ultrasound devices.

These compact, portable devices are well-suited for use in resource-limited settings, where accessing traditional ultrasound machines may be challenging.

The agreement was ceremonially signed by Her Excellency Mrs Toyin Ojora Saraki, Founder & President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, and Mr Eyong Ebai of GE HealthCare at The Sofitel Hotel on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

In addition to the donation, WBFA and GE HealthCare are conducting comprehensive training for nurses and midwives which will impact over 96,000 mothers this year alone. These training programs in the states of Lagos, Abuja, and Kwara, include theoretical and practical sessions. Participants will receive hands-on training on the use of the Vscan device, covering basic principles of ultrasound technology, image acquisition, interpretation, reporting, and even basic obstetric ultrasound scans.

According to the World Health Organization, the Maternal Mortality Rate in Nigeria in 2017, was estimated at 917 per 100 000 live births; it increased by nearly 14% in 2020 to reach 1047 deaths 2 with evidence suggesting that the increase in rates is due to three common signs of delay: in making the decision to seek maternal healthcare, in locating and arriving at a medical facility, and in receiving skilled pregnancy care when a woman gets to the health facility.

Her Excellency Mrs Toyin Ojora Saraki, Founder & President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa said “This collaboration between WBFA and GE HealthCare is a significant milestone in our mission to promote the wellbeing of expectant mothers across Nigeria. With the power of ultrasound technology, we can now detect warning signs early, ensuring the health and safety of both mothers and babies. By providing Vscan devices, delivering comprehensive training, and raising awareness within communities, WBFA and GE HealthCare is working towards healthier pregnancies, safer deliveries, and brighter futures for mothers and babies across Nigeria.”

Eyong Ebai General Manager for Sub-Sahara-Africa, GE HealthCare said “We are proud to support the Wellbeing Foundation Africa in their mission to improve maternal and fetal outcomes in Nigeria. This will enable critical healthcare services in remote areas; GE HealthCare’s involvement supports our strategy in Africa to providing healthcare professionals with the latest technology, we are equipping them with the means to detect potential complications early, ultimately saving lives.”

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