GE partners with SHOFCO to improve outcomes for expectant mothers and babies in Kibera

GE partners with SHOFCO to improve outcomes for expectant mothers and babies in Kibera

General Electric and charity Shining Hope for Communities Organization (SHOFCO) have announced a new maternal and infant care initiative aimed at increasing access to pre-natal screenings for expectant mothers in Kibera, believed to be the largest urban slum in Africa with an estimated 700,000 inhabitants.

Under the USD25,000 (Over Ksh2.5 million) partnership, GE Healthcare will provide hand-held ultrasound, training and advisory support to help SHOFCO’s mission to mobilize mothers to seek pre-natal screenings.  Twenty-four SHOFCO nurses and clinical officers have each received over 40 hours of training.

The VScan device in action at the SHOFCO Clinic

Among the subsidized technologies provided is GE’s hand-held ultrasound device, designed to help primary health workers conduct examinations that may result in the earlier detection of potentially life-threatening pregnancy complications.

Kennedy Odede, SHOFCO CEO, speaking at the event

Slum dwellers lack access to quality healthcare infrastructure and are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and malnutrition amongst children. Maternal and child mortality rates are about 50% higher than the national average, with an under-five mortality rate of 64 in every 1,000 live births.

"We are firmly committed to serving as a partner in the development of healthcare in Kenya and are humbled to contribute in expanding SHOFCO’s capabilities and reach in the community where it is needed most."

Andrew Waititu, General Manager, GE Healthcare East Africa

A lack of access to proper care during and immediately after delivery contributes to high mother and child mortality.

"Most of the health facilities available in the slums lack appropriate equipment to deal with prenatal and maternal health emergencies, in addition to a shortage of skilled personnel needed to provide emergency obstetric care. This solution, to be deployed at SHOFCO’s Subra and Makina satellite clinics, will help in reducing unnecessary referrals and decongesting the main health facility in Kibera."

Kennedy Odede CEO and Co-founder of SHOFCO

Through this program, expectant mothers will have access to ultrasound scanning before 24 weeks of gestation, that according to guidelines, assists clinicians in better estimating gestational age, improve detection of fetal anomalies.

Andrew Waititu, General Manager, GE Healthcare East Africa speaking at the partnership ceremony

SHOFCO is anchored under four pillars: Education, Health, Community Empowerment and Water and Sanitation. Key under the health pillar is the Mother and Child Health incentives program, provided for free to mothers in Kibera.

The program is designed to counteract the high child morbidity and mortality rates by encouraging mothers to seek regular antenatal, post-natal, and child welfare services to ensure positive health outcomes for themselves and their children.

Andrew Waititu,General Manager GE Healthcare East Africa presents the equipment to SHOFCO’s CEO

 

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