Mobile Ultrasound Clinic in Sierra Leone
Together with The Well Woman Clinic the HEINEKEN Africa Foundation supported a project to increase the well being of pregnant women and unborn children by creating access to ultrasound examinations.
Sierra Leone has one of the highest neonatal mortality rates worldwide. Especially the women in rural areas do not have access to maternal health care including ultrasound examination, leading to many unnecessary complications. By providing pregnant women with free ultrasound check-ups, possible complications are early detected resulting in less complications at birth and lower maternal and neonatal deaths.
Together with the Well Woman Clinic the HEINEKEN Africa Foundation successfully executed a project offering free ultrasounds to underprivileged pregnant women, as well as training for health professionals in the west urban and rural areas of Sierra Leone.
To reach these areas our Foundation donated a fully equipped vehicle including mobile ultrasound equipment. The Well Woman Clinic used the vehicle for outreaches in five different areas. During these outreaches a total of 4490 women were scanned. Seven percent of these scans showed abnormalities. These woman were referred to the nearest health centre or hospital where they received more check-ups. The education part of the programme focussed on increasing awareness of the benefits of early antenatal check-ups, including the reduction of general misconceptions on ultrasound screenings.
The Ebola outbreak was the biggest challenge for the project because the outreaches became too risky for the nurses. Unfortunately the project was brought to an end in September 2015, a few months earlier than planned.