Maternal and neonatal mortality rates remain high across the Millennium Cities and throughout much of the developing world. All the more reason why we’re excited about the second in a series of ultrasound trainings and screenings in Kumasi, Ghana, led by the London-based International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology (ISUOG), MCI’s partner, which works all over the world to further maternal and child health through the use of this life-saving technology. The Ghanaian National Health Insurance Scheme allows pregnant women two scans, yet many Ghanaian medical facilities lack professionals trained in the use of ultrasound technology. ISUOG is working to change that, by training medical professionals to use ultrasound machines, which can help detect high-risk pregnancies and complications requiring specialized care. Three state-of-the-art ultrasound machines were donated by Siemens as part of this partnership.
ISUOG recently sent a team of six professionals, including Dr. Christian Bamberg, Dr. Karen Reinhold Wojdemann, Prof. Dario Paladini, Prof. Ann Tabor, Dr. Nayana Parange and Dr. Tony Johnson, to work again with largely the same team of local doctors, nurses and midwives as they assisted expectant mothers. The first day of this second ISUOG training was held at Kumasi South Hospital, where the Government of Israel, with MCI support, built a neonatal unit. Lectures by the ISUOG team were followed by live demonstrations focused on a handful of obstetric cases, including one woman pregnant with her third set of twins.
On the second and third day of training, the trainers split up, covering Manhyia District Hospital, Maternal and Child Health Hospital and Suntreso Hospital, the site of the other Israeli-built neonatal unit and the venue for MCI’s neonatal resuscitation training program. These days were filled with hands-on instruction – from administrative tasks like entering patient information into the machines and writing follow-on reports to conducting basic scans. The ISUOG trainers taught their trainees to focus on typical measurements such as vitality, presentation, amniotic fluid levels, placental location and biometry. The trainers worked closely with the hospital administrators and staff, who have been screening patients on the Siemens machines ever since ISUOG’s first visit, in September, 2010. Together, the ISUOG team and the trainees were able to detect cases of uterine myoma, premature ovarian failure, intrauterine growth restriction and other conditions requiring specialized care. Such findings make clear the importance of ultrasound screenings and mark a major step toward improving the level of care available to expectant mothers at these local facilities.
MCI and the Kumasi Metropolitan Health Directorate are deeply grateful to ISUOG for this important and potentially life-saving series of trainings. We look forward to ISUOG’s next trip, now scheduled to take place in March 2012.
Click here to read the ISUOG team’s blogs and view their photos from their recent trip to Kumasi.