16 Rural Health Centers Receive Obstetric Ultrasound Machines

For the first time, expecting mothers in Nyabihu District can now see their growing baby on screen and hear a heartbeat because of 16 nurses and midwives who participated in a 10-day training organized by Health Builders on the use of newly donated ultrasound machines.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Health through Rwanda Biomedical Center, and with the generous support of Johnson & Johnson Foundation and DAK Foundation, Health Builders donated ultrasound equipment and training sessions to ensure nurses and midwives acquire hands-on skills to ensure expecting mothers are healthy and receive the best care.

Meet Fideline Mukamusana, a nurse and trainee in Rwankeri Health Center. "Before, we did not have ultrasound machines. We could only observe the state of the pregnancy with just our own eyes through manual assessments and it was not very accurate at all, especially when it was an advanced pregnancy. Now having received the ultrasound machine and training, this will help us to reduce the number of maternal and neonatal deaths because we can detect pregnancy complications better and earlier.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that every pregnant woman receive at least one ultrasound before 24 weeks of gestation to reduce the risk of maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity. Ultrasound machines can detect ectopic pregnancy, multiple pregnancies, placenta previa, and congenital malformation, which constitutes the majority of pregnancy and childbirth complications, and are a useful diagnostic tool in establishing the period of gestation and the expected date of delivery (EDD).

New trainees went to Ruhengeri Referral Hospital and Muhoza Health Center and using the theory and skills studied, performed scanning on pregnant mothers. During this time, they scanned and examined Emerthe Tugiramahirwe, a 30 year-old woman expecting her second child. “What I like about the ultrasound scan is that now I know the health status of my baby and what is happening in my womb. My baby is in good condition, I heard his heartbeat and the baby is fine, so I am very happy."

Immaculate Kyarisiima, Health Builders’ Director of Programs and Development, had the opportunity to speak to mothers including Emerthe. She was touched by how mothers were indeed happy and thankful for having extended the ultrasound service to them. "This is why I love Health Builders! Seeing the most in need smile because of our work.”