General Electric, (GE) has joined forces with the U.S and Nigerian governments to help reduce maternal and child deaths in Nigeria.
Nigeria which is the most populous country in Africa, contributes to about 10 percent of global maternal, infant and child deaths.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that 45 000 women die in childbirth every year in Nigeria.
The Healthymagination Mother and Child Initiative is a $20 million joint venture with a mandate to expand access to prenatal screenings to more than 2 million expectant mothers across Nigeria by 2020, in order to decrease the high numbers of maternal deaths in the country.
The initiative will address maternal and child health challenges among health workers in Nigeria by training midwives, nurses, and other health professionals to use the portable ultrasound (Vscan Access) screening tool to determine at-risk pregnancies.
Launched at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May 2015, GE’s portable ultrasound Vscan Access is a system designed for front-line workers in low-resource settings to help improve maternal health.
“Through the availability of relevant technologies, such as the Vscan Access and comprehensive training, we aim to make a meaningful contribution to primary and referral care by building capacity, enhancing skills, and driving better outcomes for Nigerian mothers and babies and for their communities,” said Farid Fezoua, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Africa.
The Healthymagination initiative will target 1300 midwives and prenatal primary health caregivers with 100 000 hours of training over the next three years in maternal and child health care.
“This new initiative is a major step forward in accelerating the development of maternal and infant care in Nigeria through the promotion of safe pregnancy, labour, and post-natal care. It will support the continuum of care by increasing human capacity, providing mobile ultrasound technology and reducing financial barriers,” said Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of State for Health.