Namibia receives ultrasound machines from the Government of Japan
WHO with support from the Government of Japan donated 16 Portable Ultrasound Machines worth N$ 801,843.00 to the Ministry of Health and Social Services 25 October 2021.
The Minister of Health and Social Services, Hon. Dr. Shangula said that the equipment presented, will play an important role in the clinical management of conditions presented in pregnant women. . It will further promote quality assurance and address geographical and cultural barriers that may have caused delays in women seeking care.
He emphasized the importance of an ultrasound machine in remote health facilities stating that these facilities will be able to conduct early and more accurate diagnosis, through in-depth assessment(s) of symptoms presented and ultimately improved effective treatment and health outcomes.
The Ambassador of Japan to Namibia, H.E. Mr. Hideaki Harada said that the provision of 16 ultrasound scanners with accessories to health facilities in Namibia is an important part of the tripartite cooperation project, which has been implemented since March this year with Japanese funding worth around 270,000 USD (approximately 4 million NAD). The objective of the project is to strengthen the capacity of health workers to provide quality essential services and to equip primary health care facilities to improve maternal and newborn care, and further to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. He further said that this cooperation will make an important contribution to improving health services for mothers and children in Namibia.
Speaking at the same occasion, WHO Representative, Dr Charles Sagoe- Moses, said that antenatal care (ANC) is a critical service provided for the mother and her unborn child. It is an essential part of primary healthcare during pregnancy, and offers key interventions that can prevent, detect and treat risk factors.
He referred to the recently the launched National Antenatal Care Guidelines for Positive Pregnancy Experience as a demonstration of the Ministry of Health and Social Services’ commitment to improve maternal and child health care. The new ANC guidelines include a recommendation for one ultrasound scan before 24 weeks of gestation for pregnant women to estimate gestational age, improve detection of fetal anomalies and multiple pregnancies. This will also contribute to the reduction of induction of labor for post term pregnancy and improve women’s experience.
In Namibia, according to the Demographic Health Survey of 2013, 97% of women aged 15-49 years received antenatal care from a skilled provider in their last pregnancy. However, only 43% had their first contact before the fourth month of pregnancy.
The 16 ultrasound machines will be deployed to high volume ANC sites to reduce delays in access to ultrasound assessment experienced by pregnant women due to referral to far away high- level facility.
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Medical Officer: Maternal Health
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