Working at BellaNova Women’s Health, an affiliate of Lakeland Health in St. Joseph, Michigan, Tracy Anderson, DNP, CNM, spends part of her time helping expectant mothers as they prepare for the arrival of their children. But half a world away, Dr. Anderson also has her heart and mind focused on helping expectant mothers in Uganda.
Dr. Anderson first experienced the needs of the Ugandan women when she traveled in 2016 as anassociate professor with St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana. Uganda has a 20 percent infant mortality rate and as Dr. Anderson worked with the local midwives, she quickly became aware of the lack of the most basic equipment and training that she felt could help reduce the infant mortality rate.
In the summer of 2017, Dr. Anderson and Barbara Carlson, MD, BellaNova Women’s Health, in collaboration with St. Mary’s College and the Sisters of the Holy Cross, traveled with a small team and visited Uganda’s Virika Hospital and Kyembogo Health Clinic.
Although the local hospital and clinic provide quality prenatal and obstetric care in a safe environment, expectant mothers in Uganda typically give birth at home and use traditional birth attendants whose skills and training are minimal. They also don’t have access to ultrasound monitoring during labor mostly due to the cost and availability of the equipment.
With a generous grant from the Southwestern Medical Clinic Foundation, the mission team was able to bring two portable ultrasound machines to give to the hospital and clinic. These machines allow hospital and clinic staff to evaluate gestational age, position, and monitor fetal status during labor as well as help expectant mothers with stillborn babies get the immediate care they required to safely deliver without further complications.
The mission team and Ugandan medical staff feel blessed to have been able to purchase and use the machines to help reduce infant mortality and allow expectant mothers to get the medical care they need. Thank you to the donors who gave willingly to help families around the world.
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