Worth noting from the Medical Literature

Kawooya MG and colleagues recently published results a study in Ultrasound quarterly  that shows another benefit of antenatal ultrasound (US) availability.  They trained midwives at 5 centers in Mawokota North constituency to perform limited obstetric ultrasound scanning at each antenatal visit. The midwives were given solar-powered portable ultrasound machines.  A comparable group of 5 centers in Mawokota South offered the same antenatal care except for the absence of ultrasound scanning.

The researchers compared the two groups’ rates of maternal attendance for antenatal care, the rate of delivery in health facilities and the rate of referrals to specialists for complications.

Results? A 32% increase in the first antenatal clinic attendance at the Mawokota North (intervention) sites compared with 7.4% in the Mawokota South (control) sites.

The fourth antenatal clinic attendance at the Mawokota North sites increased by 147% compared with 0.6% decline in the Mawokota South (control) sites.

Referrals of high-risk pregnancies increased by 40.7% in the Mawokota North (intervention sites) compared with 25% in the Mawokota South (control) sites.

The number of births at the Mawokota North health centers (interventional sites) increased by 34.1% compared with 29.5% in the Mawokota South (control sites.)

Conclusion: Integration of limited obstetric US into routine ANC visits is associated with an increase in ANC attendance.

Comment: This is another reminder that improving maternal-newborn health outcomes in East Africa is an affordable goal. It invites commitment by the governments to invest money and support the health care providers to offer well tested and effective measures in their care for pregnant women. 


Impact of Introducing Routine Antenatal Ultrasound Services on Reproductive Health Indicators in Mpigi District, Central Uganda. Kawooya MG, Nathan RO, Swanson J, Swanson DL, Namulema E, Ankunda R, Kirumira F, Ddungu-Matovu P, – Ultrasound Q – December 1, 2015; 31 (4); 285-9


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