Global Health Ministries is a Minnesota-based nonprofit committed to strengthening Lutheran health systems that improve health for all people.
Maternal and newborn health is a priority, as maternal and infant mortality rates remain heartbreakingly high in many countries around the world. Many of those deaths are preventable. Especially in remote villages, access to quality healthcare during pregnancy and for the first 5 years of a baby's life can save lives.
Handheld ultrasounds are a relatively simple but powerful tool that can make a difference. TIME magazine rated handheld ultrasounds one of the Top 10 inventions to change access to healthcare in 2019. Today, these devices can be found in clinics and hospital emergency rooms across the U.S. but rarely in low- and middle-income countries. In 2021, GHM introduced handheld ultrasounds to physicians in Madagascar (the first in that country!) in a pilot program for urban hospitals. The pilot was exciting and successful and the implications clear, especially for rural clinics. Small (about the size of an electric razor) and portable, this ultrasound plugs into any smart phone or tablet and offers high quality imaging. Like a cell phone, it runs on a rechargeable battery and doesn’t require local electricity or an internet connection. Even in the most remote setting, this handheld ultrasound works! And it has the power to change lives, like that of Hannah Flomo.
23-year-old Hannah is anticipating the birth of her second child, eager for this pregnancy to end as she waits at the Maternal Waiting Home at Phebe Hospital in central Liberia. She’s been there for weeks, leaving her family and, because there is no road, walking for hours from her village to the hospital long before her estimated due date. Hannah’s pregnancy is considered high risk because she lost her first child in childbirth. That time, she waited too long to go to the hospital, not knowing her delivery might be complicated. Despite an emergency C-section, her first baby did not survive. Access to an ultrasound and the critical information it can provide would have made all the difference for Hannah and her family.
Despite their remote locations, rural clinics like the one closest to Hannah’s village often serve populations of 10,000 or more. The impact of these life-giving medical devices is significant and transformational for these health outposts and surrounding villages, making quality care available to people with no other access to such services. GHM partners with dozens of under-resourced clinics like these, from Liberia to Madagascar to Tanzania, most of them operating in a context of extreme poverty.
The price of one handheld ultrasound (along with a tablet and all accessories) is $3,000. Your gift today, in any amount, will help us provide handheld ultrasounds to empower quality care for some of the world’s most vulnerable people, including prenatal care for women like Hannah.
Thank you for helping us reach out with love from Minnesota!