After a few intense and instructive days we travel to the island of Zanzibar. Last year we were able to help a German midwife to make ultrasounds. Because she wants to be trained, we now give her two full days of training. Thanks to the Lumify we have with us, we now have an extra echo device with which we can also give basic training to two local nurse / midwives. In the meantime, we also have plenty of echo-office hours. The women here know on which days echoes are made and stand or are already waiting outside. We see pregnancies in all trimesters, including twins, and we even make a trip to the gynecological ultrasound.
After Zanzibar, Lower Moshi is on the program, specifically the TPC Hospital, a hospital in the middle of one of the largest sugar cane plantations in Tanzania. The TPC hospital is the base of the first Mamabus in northern Tanzania. The experiences with this Mamabus are included in the business plan for driving different Mamabuses in the entire Arusha region.
When we arrive, Suus of Driving Nurses has been busy for some days preparing the official kick-off of the Mamabus 2.0. '2.0' means that the bus will be equipped with all necessary instruments, from doptone to mobile ultrasound device and from blood tests to medication, vaccines and baby kits. This means that (future) mothers and children who live too far from regular medical posts can still receive the care they are entitled to. The hospital staff are now too often faced with women with pregnancy complications who report late or even late.
In the meantime, as the Mount Meru Foundation, we focus on the question of how we can implement ultrasound on the bus. Our journey is mainly about inventory: who can echo here, who can supervise, which protocols are there now and meet them, what is the working method, and so on. We travel around to meet the right people and get as complete a picture as possible. This is how we meet the trainer of the only echo course in the region. Of course he also wants the photo for the mamabus.
Finding unused brand new equipment in a closet is missed development aid. It is not the first and will not be the last time we encounter this. Of course we like to work differently. That is why in the coming months we will first work on the foundations, on training the right people, on making good agreements about the quality requirements (such as the number of echoes to be performed and following the international standards) and the way of supervision. Only then will we transfer the Lumify to the staff of the first Mamabus and ultrasound will really become part of the services of the bus.
Meanwhile, we are also working hard on laying the foundation for the business plan to roll out ultrasonography on a larger scale. The emphasis here is firstly on realizing a sound training program, selecting the right candidates for the training, finding competent supervisors, working out protocols and so on. This is the foundation for the further implementation of ultrasound on a wide scale in the region!
Hopefully you enjoyed our echo from Africa. With a lot of acquired knowledge and a lot of useful insights we go on our way home. Be sure to keep following our blog, because we have been able to make a lot of moves and we would like to keep you updated on this!