We're raising money for a brand new ultrasound machine for the Mama Ann's Odede Community Health Centre in rural Kenya! Can you spare a few dollars and change the lives of pregnant women and their babies in rural Kenya? This campaign will finish on March 8, International Women's Day! What a perfect way to celebrate the amazing women and mummas across the globe!
Mama Ann's Odede Community Health Centre: Our Story
The Odede Health Centre is a community-driven initiative that brings crucial healthcare services to thousands of people living in extreme poverty every year in western Kenya. It provides maternal and infant health care, HIV testing and support, and community outreach programs which provide education and basic medical services for schools and villages around Odede.
In the 2017-2018 financial year, the Centre treated 19,000 patients, with the main treatments being for malaria (2,700 people), typhoid and HIV. The Centre has become a well-established birthing centre with 441 babies being born in the same period, more than double the number of previous years!
Prior to the centre opening in 2013, an estimated 70% of women in the area were giving birth at home resulting in a high maternal and infant mortality rate. Now, there have been nil reports of any women giving birth at home, and no deaths. This is a major achievement!
Elizabeth gave birth to her second child, a healthy baby boy, in the Health Centre on June 17 2018. Prior to giving birth, she went to the Health Centre for pre-natal checks every month. Elizabeth had to travel more than 1 hour every time she needed to have an ultrasound during her pregnancy.
Why an Ultrasound Machine?
Currently, whenever someone needs an ultrasound the Health Centre has to refer them to another hospital that has the equipment. Usually, patients are referred to Bondo, which is 30 - 45 minutes drive away. This is expensive for patients, because they have to pay for a second appointment, the fees to use the machine, and the travel to and from Bondo hospital. Most people in Odede live on less than $2 per day, so this kind of expense is quite a burden.
Also, it means that literally thousands of people in the area are reliant on only a couple of hospitals that actually have an ultrasound machine. It is estimated that there is around 20,000 people in the 14 villages that Odede Hospital serves alone; but in the wider county, and the people living in or around Bondo, there are thousands more.
So; there is simply not enough accessible ultrasounds to serve the population!
Very simply, poor women will have access to an ultrasound machine that could provide crucial health information and in some cases even life-saving services. Most commonly, the machine will be used for pregnant women, so they can monitor the health of their unborn baby and ensure they are given the best care possible, as well as identify any health risks to mother or baby during pregnancy. Ultrasounds can also be used for any patient, to identify and diagnose a variety of illnesses.
For the Health Centre, an ultrasound machine means an added source of income. The Health Centre is reliant on patient fees to continue operation, and as a National Health Insurance Fund provider, this means that it can provide high-quality services to the poor, without patients spending high fees. The health insurance payments from patient fees to use the ultrasound machine will mean that the money the Health Centre is currently losing each time it has to make a referral, will start to significantly benefit the facility and help to pay for basic operational costs such as water and electricity. The ultrasound machine therefore is not just a charitable donation; it will be an invaluable piece of equipment that will make a significant contribution to the Health Centre's sustainability.