Uganda has one of the highest maternal mortality rates and transmission of HIV during pregnancy. This is particularly true in rural, isolated villages found in the Kigezi region of southwestern Uganda. The vast majority of the population seek help and medical care from traditional healers, and are not assisted during birth or tested for diseases such as HIV.
In working with Kigezi Healthcare Foundation (KIHEFO), the research team of Bridge to Health developed an innovative approach to enticing pregnant women to seek medical care during pregnancy. Specifically, during our February 2014 brigade we advertised free portable ultrasound by radio and saw that nearly six times more women came to clinic versus when we didn’t advertise the ultrasound.
Since conducting our study we left behind two portable ultrasound units that we were able to purchase. These units have been used by KIHEFO ever since at their maternal hospital and have screened thousands of women for obstetric complications. Then, in March of 2017 our study was published in PLOS One. Our message is now published for the world to see! It will hopefully serve to encourage Ministries of Health and NGOs to adopt our model of care and improve the health of women and children around the world.
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