Rural Expectant Moms Ultra Happy Thanks To Ahadi Kenya, Namm Pharmaceuticals.


An expectant mother having an ultra-sound scan in an 'Ambulance Mashinani'. Looking on is Stanley Kamau, C.E.O. Ahadi Kenya.

Getting that first glimpse of your baby on an ultrasound machine is one of the most exciting moments of pregnancy, perhaps only second to finding out that one is going to be a parent in the first place.

Is it a boy or a girl?

Learning the gender of your baby is also another exciting milestone for many expectant parents. What a joy if as a mother/father, you don’t have to wait until the baby is born to know whether it is a boy or a girl or may be if you are blessed with twins?

This technology also helps the doctor when determining whether a pregnancy is progressing normally.
The joy of actually ‘walking’ with their unborn children have come to fruition as expectant mothers and the general population of Kabati and Kandara in Murang’a County, begin to benefit from Ahadi Kenya’s new portable ultrasound machine, a first in the county.

Ahadi Kenya saw a gap in the antenatal care (ANC) among rural communities in low-income areas who were not able to achieve the minimum recommended visits and deliver without skilled attendants due to poverty and inaccessibility of these services locally. With the aim of increasing number of ANC visits and supplementing care given by ANC health facilities, they, in partnership with Namm Pharmaceuticals, came up with a system based on low-cost mobile and portable ultrasound scan machines.

“Today we are launching a different kind of a project, also in line with the anti-jigger campaign. As you know, most mothers who are jigger infested as well as those with other kinds of disabilities cannot be able to move out of their homes. That is why we came up with the ‘Ambulance Mashinani’ that takes the sick people from their beds to the nearest health facilities for medical attention. And now together with Namm Pharmaceuticals, we have come up with a more efficient way of testing expectant mothers. We are going to be using these ultra-sound machines in the Ambulance Mashinani so that we can link these mothers to the social workers nearest to them,” said Ahadi Kenya CEO Dr. Stanley Kamau.

Kamau said that all the social worker had to do was visit the mother in their homes, do the necessary tests and instantly be able to tell the state of the unborn child.
Kamau receiving one of the machines on behalf of Kabati Community

“As evident with the mothers we have seen here, most of them have never attended any ANC. If it (faetus) needs any specialised attention, the social worker will be able to e-mail the images to any hospital where the doctors can now use them to assist both the mother and the unborn child. The machine is very easy to use and very portable,” he elaborated.

He said that they were still in their initial stage of the programme which was to have the machines accessible to the areas that were in need of them. He added that they would ensure that the machines were available in every location that had an ‘Ambulance Mashinani’. We are going to hold trainings for the social workers from next week on how to use the machines,” he said.

Dr. Hassan Mohammed from Namm Pharmaceuticals said that their initiative with a Japanese firm was very easy to use on any software and was meant to take the services at the point of care. He said that the cost of using the machine was merely a tenth of what is charged by the regular hospitals thus very affordable to an average family.

Dr. Phillip Ndambuki added that the machine could also be used by urologists to test for prostate cancer especially in old men.

Jane Wangeci, one of the expectant mothers who benefitted from this programme was very happy to see her baby boy yawn, suck his thumb and knows he has a head full of hair even before she had even met him. Wangeci was able to view her unborn baby via the machine.

“It was amazing,” Wangeci said after seeing her baby during her visit to the makeshift clinic in Kabati. “We made a connection with him. I know what he looks like. This will be good news to my husband.”
She added that this initiative will go a long way in helping expectant mother who lose their kids in hospitals or have them exchanged for others.

“Now I am in a position of knowing the gender of my unborn child even before he is born. I also know his health status and no doctor can exchange my child with another without me knowing. Many women lose their kids in hospitals when rogue doctors exchange them with stillborn or children of a different gender,” she said.
  
Maternal and neonatal mortality rates remain high across the rural areas and throughout much of the developing world and as such, initiatives like these will go a long way in addressing this challenge.

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