Il September 18 in Nairobi, at the Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital, took place the official start ceremony of the World Friends “SonoMobile” project. Paolo Damato, for the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and Angela Loi, first secretary for the Italian embassy in Kenya, also participated in the event, together with the representatives of the realities involved in the project.
The SonoMobile project starts in 2018 and aims to contribute to Sustainable Development Goal number 3 United Nations: to ensure the health and well-being of all, at all ages. Along this line, the project wants to respond to the need to promote the health of pregnant women and newborns in the North-East area of Nairobi, in particular by fostering more equal and quality access to the ultrasound services they need.
In the slums, the slums of Nairobi, i neonatal mortality rates are still very high, 133% higher than the city average, e mortality maternal it is almost double the national average. One of the main determining factors is precisely the limited availability of basic ultrasound services during the perinatal process and the consequent failure to exploit their diagnostic potential. In the slums, in fact, the 60% of the health facilities located throughout the area do not have an ultrasound service due to the prohibitive costs of equipment and personnel, and many pregnant women are unable to access the health services they would need.
With "SonoMobile", the name already denotes the great added value of this project, the obstetric-gynecological ultrasound in the slums becomes more widespread and accessible thanks to the use of innovative portable ultrasound systems. These ultrasounds real time, connected wirelessly with any apparatus, like an Ipad or a smartphone, they are usable in any place and in the absence of signal or telephone / satellite network. In this way, the specialized staff is able to reach the health centers located in the Nairobi area, even the most remote ones, and favor a more equitable access to ultrasound services and identify in time a greater number of conditions that can endanger life of mothers and children.
The project, which is at the beginning of its second year of life, is funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, Only the Brave Foundation, Manos Unidas and Cuore Amico Fraternità Onlus.
There are many partners involved, each with a specific and important role in the success and sustainability of this important one project.
Kenya Medical Training College, with the collaboration of the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome and the University of Turin, will develop a training curriculum that will guide the training of nurses / midwives allowing them to offer basic ultrasound services in the centers health in the area.
Health-E-Net (www.health-e-net.org) and OTE Medical, an Italian company that supplies wireless ultrasound systems, have developed an IT infrastructure that allows nurses / midwives to perform guided and effective ultrasound scans, and keep track of each step for consultation and final diagnosis.
UniTo and UCBM, together with the Global Health Center of the Tuscany Region, will be concerned with the evaluation and quality control of the project, in particular with the service and continuous training of operators.
All together "we are on the side of pregnant women and newborns in the slums of Nairobi", is what Gianfranco Morino, head of World Friends in Kenya said. We hope that this collaboration and synergy between various realities, profit and non-profit, brings great results, until the end of the project and even beyond.