Dutch ultrasound system can reduce maternal mortality in Africa

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 99 percent of all women who die in Africa live around a childbirth. In Ethiopia, where Thomas does research, it concerns 353 mothers per 100,000 births. There are seven in the Netherlands.

In a report from 2016, WHO describes how they want to tackle maternal mortality worldwide. They also recommend making echoes.

Training midwives within one day

The Thomas system can detect three things: how long the woman is pregnant, whether the baby is in a breech presentation and how many babies are in the abdomen.

Thomas wants the midwives themselves to learn how to use the ultrasound device. That can be done within one day. “They then learn how to move the device over the abdomen, the computer interprets the images and immediately indicates whether there are any risk factors.”

He hopes to place the echo machine in as many health clinics in Ethiopia as possible. In contrast tohospitals are closer to many women. “In this way, pregnant women who are at risk can safely give birth.”

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