Collaborative Research in Uganda
Beginning in 2010, in collaboration with the Ernest Cook Ultrasound Research and Education Institute (ECUREI) at Mengo Hospital and Kamuli Mission Hospital (KMH) ITW launched several projects to verify the success of this novel ultrasound solution.
Although maternal mortality figures vary widely, best estimates for Uganda suggest that 10,000 women and girls die each year due to pregnancy-related complications. For every woman or girl who dies from childbirth, between 20 and 30 more will suffer short and long-term disabilities such as obstetric fistula, ruptured uterus, or pelvic inflammatory disease. Uganda was selected as an ideal location for ITW’s model because 88% of the population lives in rural areas, and because the country was rated 182nd out of 191 countries worldwide for healthy life expectancy. Uganda’s rankings for maternal and neonatal health also lag behind the global average for disparity of rural to urban access to services.
Improving Patient care in Uganda, 2010-2011
Since June 2010, ITW has enriched and increased healthcare services in regional hospitals, and at a rural health clinic in Uganda. Initiatives include:
- In partnership with Philips Healthcare, supplying two regional hospitals with Philips CX50 portable ultrasound machines.
- In partnership with the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis and St. Joseph Vocational Training Center in Kamuli, ITW sponsored an Integrated Community Outreach pilot for the community surrounding Nawanyago Health Center to integrate public health messages about HIV testing and immunizations with antenatal care education and the impact that diagnostic tests like ultrasound can make in maternal/fetal health.
- Providing three scholarships for sonographers at regional hospitals to attend a six-month advanced training course in ultrasonography.
- Implementing ultrasound at a rural health clinic at Nawanyago in June 2010. Initial data from 12 months of operation show compelling results- offering ultrasound as a component to antenatal care draws additional patients to the clinic, and more frequent in-clinic deliveries.
Through enhancing local ownership, technology infrastructure, education and job creation, our goal is to build local capacity for imaging and image interpretation to maximize sustainability.