U.S., Nigeria, Launch $20mn women’s health initiative
In a move aimed at reducing maternal mortality, the United States and the Federal Government along with General Electric, GE, have launched a new mother-and-child health initiative that would expand access to pre-natal screenings to more than 2 million expectant mothers across Nigeria by 2020.
The Healthymagination Mother and Child Initiative will help reduce preventable mother and infant deaths.
The initiative will also address maternal and child health challenges among health workers in Nigeria by training midwives, nurses, and other health professionals in the use of the portable ultrasound (Vscan Access) screening tool to determine at-risk pregnancies.
At the launching and signing programme in Abuja, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Minister of State for Health, was joined by Dr. Ado Mohammed, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency; U.S. Ambassador James F. Entwistle; and Terri Bresenham, GE’s President and Chief Executive Officer for Healthcare and Sustainable Solutions.
Entwistle said at the event: “The U.S. government is committed to engaging in effective and innovative alliances with the private sector to support Nigeria’s critical development needs.
“We are proud to collaborate with GE to bring quality health services to millions of women and children in Nigeria.”
The Healthymagination initiative will target 1300 midwives and pre-natal primary health caregivers with over 100,000 hours of training over the next three years in maternal and child health care.
Six states plus the Federal Capital Territory are being targeted. GE’s portable ultrasound Vscan Access launched at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May 2015 is a system designed for front-line workers in low-resource settings to help improve maternal health.
A comprehensive training will start in May, followed by ongoing mentoring and grading in the field by qualified trainers and clinicians. With the gradual ramp up of the program, expectant mothers will begin to receive the Vscan Access screenings in June at participating primary care clinics and general hospitals.