Above, photo provided by Bridge to Health.
Michelle helping our local Ugandan coordinator, Nangoli Andrew, to scan
In the winter of 2014, Bridge to Health, working with our Ugandan partners, realized the power of portable ultrasound. We discovered its broad practicality for rural and remote settings, as well as its unique ability to incentivize patients to engage in the healthcare system who might otherwise seek traditional healers. Starting with antenatal care, we demonstrated a six-fold increase in uptake of services when ultrasound was advertised versus when it was not. From there, we empowered our community partners in Uganda with devices, and asked our colleagues who were Ugandan mid-level health care providers, what they would most like to use ultrasound for if given the opportunity. Initially, they described obstetric ultrasound and their desire to learn that technique. We wondered though, “do they know the full extent for how ultrasound can be used?” So, we changed the survey, this time we gave a menu of options and asked that they select their top choices. Now, topics like breast masses and pediatric pneumonia rose to the top. With that in mind, our team began to put together a group of world-leading experts to design curriculum, engage local partners and find the devices necessary for the program.