Monday, 25 July 2011

Help us #save new born babies lives by using #mobile devices for #ultrasound

"Why not save the lives of new borns by making use of mobile devices that can be used for ultra-sound?" with this simple idea my wonderful and inspiring colleagues Vincent De Brouwere and Fabienne Richard started a quest to get a new mobile project up and running.

The project is now before a jury and it would be wonderful if as many people as possible could vote in favor of this proposal, as it will really save lives of new born babies and their mothers.

If we get enough votes, the project will be funded by the Belinda and Bill Gates foundation. Please feel free to support us by voting on the project (here is the link to the voting option), Remark: you must register here first (for free) to be able to vote, it only takes a moment and I think they do it to make sure the voters are 'real' people. You vote by first registering for an account, than signing in and clicking on the 'star' next to the project of your choice. Thanks in advance!

This is what the project is all about:

Title of the project: UltraSound4Africa
Organization:Institute of Tropical Medicine - Antwerp
Organization Location: Antwerp, Belgium

Optimal care during childbirth in rural areas of most low and middle income countries is hampered by 2 major problems: the limited equipment and capacity of health workers for diagnosis, and the quasi-absence of back-up from the hospital, which impacts on their motivation and competence. In order to improve the technical quality of care and the motivation of primary care maternity staff working in rural areas of low-income countries, the Ultrasound4Africa project proposes to develop a two-pronged integrated intervention:

  • the provision of low cost smartphone-based ultrasound imaging systems (MobiUS device) that connect rural maternities with specialists. This telemedicine intervention aims at early diagnosis of life threatening obstetric complications, appropriate case management and rapid referral of critical cases to the hospital.
  • The development of a network of primary care maternities with their referral hospitals, aiming at providing technical and moral support to health workers working in remote areas.

The pilot test will be implemented in rural maternities of 2 districts in Burkina Faso and Mali where access to Emergency Obstetric Care (EmOC) remains low despite a national policy of abolition of user fees for EmOC. This intervention is expected to improve utilization of antenatal care and skilled birth attendance by increasing women’s trust in primary care services and to contribute to reducing maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity. Ultrasound4Africa will be implemented by national teams at district level and supported by a multidisciplinary team (clinicians, public health specialists and IT specialists) with an extensive experience in sub-Saharan Africa.