Maternal Health Initiative
With the aim to decrease the infant mortality rate and to provide the women of the community with a medically conducive environment to give birth, Imkaan launched a Maternal Health Initiative, opening an ultrasound facility in 2015 and establishing a 24/7 Maternity Home in January 2018.
Through the Maternal Health Initiative, Imkaan aims to:
- Reduce the incidence of maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity in the area;
- Facilitate access to quality skilled maternity care;
- Provide postnatal and antenatal support to women of Machar Colony;
- Provide a clean and favorable environment for delivery;
- Create awareness regarding nutritional needs of the mother after delivery;
- Create awareness regarding family planning and the importance of planned parenthood;
- Train traditional birth attendants regarding safe childbirth practices.
24/7 Maternity Home
The closest maternity home or hospital is a 45 minute drive away from Machar Colony. Lack of transportation and identification makes it difficult for women of the community to seek help and consult qualified midwives during their pregnancy. Community members usually use traditional birth attendants (dais) for giving birth at home. This results in complex home births, invariably with complications leading to the demise of either the mother or the child, or both.
Imkaan’s Maternity Home provides the following services:
- Delivering of newborns in a medically conducive environment.
- Consulting with qualified doctors and trained midwives.
- Family planning services.
- Antenatal support to pregnant women throughout the gestation period.
- Manual Vacuum Aspiration for miscarriages.
- Ultrasound facility for accurate diagnosis.
- Devising life-saving solutions that can contribute to reducing maternal and perinatal mortality for the women of the community.
The Maternity Home helps the women of the community to consult with women health workers who can guide them regarding safety measures and nutrition throughout their pregnancy. Monthly ultrasounds help them track the progress of their child and allows the diagnosis of high-risk pregnancies at an early stage. Consultations with the gynecologist and with the women health workers also initiates a process of learning and awareness regarding their own health issues and those of the family.
Ultrasound Imaging Centre
Imkaan’s Ultrasound Imaging Centre has supported the community of Machar Colony through the Mother & Child Health Clinic and the Maternity Home since 2014 and 2018 respectively. It is the only ultrasound facility in the community.
Pregnant women often arrive at Imkaan’s Maternity Home with limited knowledge of their health, pregnancy and gestational age; in an active state of labor; or requiring emergency obstetric care. An ultrasound facility is critical for the medical team to make quick, accurate diagnoses, including identifying high risk pregnancies, and providing the necessary medical care to pregnant women.
The ultrasound facility dedicated to reproductive and child health allows Imkaan’s medical team to:
- Measure fetal well-being and heart activity
- Obtain imaging for delivery assistance
- Devise life-saving solutions that can contribute to reducing maternal and perinatal mortality in Machar Colony.
Having an Ultrasound Imaging Centre within the community has encouraged women from Machar Colony to seek skilled antenatal care and delivery assistance instead of utilizing more traditional methods or consulting unqualified practitioners/quacks.
In addition to supporting pregnant women, Imkaan’s Ultrasound Imaging Centre allows healthcare practitioners in the Mother and Child Health Clinic to:
- Diagnose conditions of inner organs, such as the liver and kidneys
- Detect and treat soft tissue injuries
- Detect a wide rage of issues including digestive problems, cysts, gallstones, and fatty liver disease
Diagnosis at an earlier stage is proven to be life saving for patients suffering from dangerous diseases. If the medical practitioner at the clinic identifies a disease that can be cured either at an early or later stage, patients are referred to nearby hospitals that are linked with Imkaan’s Mother & Child Health Clinic.
Ultrasound is a useful modality that particularly benefits women’s health and obstetrical care in the developing world. With the inaccessibility of government health facilities due to statelessness and of private clinics because of poverty, Imkaan Welfare Organization’s Ultrasound Imaging Centre is providing a vital service to the community of Machar Colony to help with maternal care, chronic disease management and disease epidemic.