The capital’s informal settlements – primary target of the present initiative – neonatal and infant mortality rates 133% higher than the city average rates are recorded [Ndugwa RP, 2008; APHRC, 2014], together with a maternal mortality rate almost double than the national average rate (+95%) [Ziraba AK, 2009; APHRC, 2014]. Among the main determinants of the above-listed rates the following is also identified: the limited availability of basic ultrasound services during the perinatal path and the missed opportunity to tap the diagnostic potential of such technology [SZ Wanyonyi, 2017].
By means of promoting a wider and more equitable access to obstetric-gynaecological imaging it is possible to identify, at early stages, a larger number of conditions that put mothers and newborns’ survival at risk – for instance: multiple and pre-term pregnancies [M Wambui, 2016], fetal malformations [M Whitworth, 2015], ectopic pregnancies [AH Flores, 2014]. Even on the basis of a diagnosis formulated by a nurse operating an ultrasound machine [Kimberly HH, 2010] one can adopt, in an informed manner, the necessary therapeutic precautions in order to prevent/reduce negative pregnancy outcomes.
Despite the fact that 98% of pregnant women attends at least 1 antenatal visit [Ruaraka AWP, 2017-2018], often on that visit, however, no ultrasound investigation is carried out due to lack of economic or material resources [KR Millar, 2017].
The project foresees an intervention in favor of the most vulnerable on the medical side, namely pregnant women and newborns, allowing greater access to diagnostic ultrasound services in the most marginalized areas of Nairobi.
The main activities:
- Training of nurses/midwives specialized in ultrasound and duly recognized.
- Start up and management of the mobile ultrasound service at facilities that offer Primary Health Care, with priority given to the marginalized areas of the capital.