Midwife Feature: Innovative deployment of community-based portable ultrasounds

Midwife Feature: Innovative deployment of community-based portable ultrasounds

ultrasound being done in the home

2014 Winner: Dr. Joanne Katz, Johns Hopkins University

These are women who usually deliver at home or in facilities that cannot take care of these problems. By knowing in advance about these concerns, they can plan to deliver in a facility with the right staff and equipment to help save their lives and those of their infants. As technology becomes more portable and prices lower, it is important to try out life saving equipment to make sure it works as intended and can be effectively used in resource limited settings,” said Dr. Joanne Katz.

Today, May 5, 2015, is recognized for highlighting the work of midwives around the world. On this International Day of Midwives, we’d like to recognize and appreciate the work of our 2014 Winner, Dr. Joanne Katz and her team in rural Nepal. Their work focuses on assessing the feasibility of expanding antenatal care coverage and ultrasound access to low-resource communities through the deployment of Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs).

Proper care during labor and delivery can reduce the increased likelihood of mortality and morbidity from occurring in the first few hours of life. In addition, a significant number of expecting mothers around the world continue to deliver at home. With intrapartum-related complications being a major cause for neonatal deaths worldwide, this project is focused on training ANMs to identify a set of key factors of intrapartum-related neonatal, fetal and maternal death. Typically, these outcomes are thought to only be identified in a facility setting.

In early 2015, nurse midwives were trained to use portable ultrasounds to uncover common risk factors during home visits. The goal is to examine the sensitivity and specificity with which the nurse midwives are able to detect conditions that may lead to delivery complications as well as compare the early neonatal mortality and stillbirth rates between those who received an ultrasound exam through the study and a separate comparable group.

Thank you, team, for your work in ensuring healthy mothers and children!

Dr. Joanne Katz is Professor and Associate Chair at the Department of International Health of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


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