For every 100,000 children born in South Africa, approximately 300 babies die due to birth complications, including stillbirth. Yet 40 per cent of stillbirths are preventable if adequate antenatal care is available. The vast majority of these deaths occur in rural areas where healthcare services and resources are limited. In a recent edition of eNCA Tech Report, Thenji Stemela discusses the keys to better maternal care in Africa and how GE’s Vscan is playing its role.
Maternal and newborn health remains one of the most pressing priorities in Africa. According to the World Bank, more than 74 per cent of maternal deaths could be prevented if all women had access to interventions that address complications in pregnancy and childbirth. Mokhtar Hamed, African Leader for Ultrasound, GE Healthcare believes that a lack of technology and skilled health resources are among the reasons for poor maternal health outcomes.
To help reduce pregnancy-related deaths, GE developed its ultrasound device called the Vscan. Its robust specifications ensure it is able to function fully in rural settings. Designed for use by primary healthcare workers, the battery-powered portable device enables the early detection of life-threatening pregnancy complications and improves clinical decision-making and pregnancy management.
In Tanzania, the deployment of ultrasound devices in rural clinics has enabled healthcare workers to detect pregnancy issues early on, allowing for better care for their patients. With improved technology, caregivers have the ability to extend the reach of high quality care for mothers and newborns. Research shows that investing in better maternal health not only improves a mother’s health but also that of her family and her community.
GE committed $6 billion to continuously develop innovations that help clinicians and healthcare providers deliver high quality healthcare at lower cost to more people around the world and the Vscan is one such-device delivering on this commitment.
Check out eNCA Tech Report’s video on Vscan below: