Who hasn’t stared with at least a little confusion at an ultrasound picture? Is that really the baby’s head? Those fuzzy pictures connect us to babies before we can hold them. They link us to our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and the children of friends – all of whom we can’t wait to meet! Even more important, they help doctors identify and address many complications before they endanger mother or baby.
Unfortunately, most soon-to-be parents worldwide don’t have access to this technology that we take for granted. Doctors and nurses practicing in the developing world are often unable to spot difficulties in time to save lives. By including ultrasound as part of comprehensive prenatal care, we can address many of the World Health Organization’s top causes of maternal and neonatal mortality: hemorrhage, obstructed labor, asphyxia, birth injuries, and preterm births.
Thanks to generous funding this year from MA and James Gallerani, the Dorothea Haus Ross Foundation, and the Jack Tarver Foundation, expectant mothers visiting our clinic in Port-au-Prince do have access to ultrasound technology. Our clinicians are able to identify abnormalities early, determine gestational age and estimate due dates, and monitor uterine cysts and other conditions that might become dangerous. They are able to diagnose issues on the spot – without asking the mother to wait, return to the clinic in a week, or travel for a referral. For women who often journey hours to our clinic, it is critical that they are able to access necessary care quickly and in one location.
As we all look forward to a bright 2013, I would like to introduce you to Rosemonde and Joulie (pictured above and below). They are especially hopeful for the New Year, and have much to look forward to as they wait to meet the babies they have just seen for the first time. From all of us at C2C, here’s to a beautiful New Year for our patients, our supporters, and our organization’s growth to serve thousands more women and children!