By Pamela Bonnett, CEO
It is our mission to improve the lives of women and babies around the world regardless of their ability to pay or where they live. As the CEO of Ultrasound AI, I strongly believe you must say what you do and do what you said. To that end, I joined a Anidaso Ghana Medical Mission to Ghana and donated Ultrasound AI’s Preterm Birth software to the Kwahu Government Hospital in Mpraeso, Ghana. This was my first time in Africa and the visit had a profound effect on me. You can read about and see the disparities on TV but nothing prepares you for the first hand experience. I had the pleasure of working alongside Dr. Nana K. Osei and Mary Agyarko. This was the first time we were using our software outside the USA and we did yet have the product fully automated. As all things in Ghana, you find a way to make it work.
You might wonder why detecting risk for preterm birth is so important at this hospital and generally in Ghana. Unfortunately, this region doesn’t have a NICU to care for premature babies. If a mom is made aware that her baby will be coming early and will likely need NICU care, she and her family have to make the decision to deliver at the tertiary hospital with a NICU over 2 hours away! For families needing this care, it is very difficult decision, as they have to pay out of pocket and make arrangements for care for other family members. This is money that is often not readily available and time they cannot spend away from work and family. To spread the word throughout the community we went to a local radio station and broadcast the purpose of the mission and let them know where to find us. Many women give birth at home and have little to no prenatal care, which can lead to significant birth issues and care that is not able to be delivered. We went to the villages and set up clinics, close to the patients. When pregnant women arrived, we sent them to the local hospital for a free ultrasound exam which will help deliver the best possible outcome and information for both the mother and the baby.
Thanks to the incredible mission team lead bey Dr. Ted Thachenkary and Dr. Mark Kevin we saw 10-15 patients per day. Each patient was informed that they were getting the latest innovative software by Ultrasound AI. They were all very excited to be part of the launch. We have developed an ongoing relationship with the Kwahu Government Hospital and have the full support Kobena Wiredu, Medical Superintendent.
Our team and I remain in contact with Dr. Osei to develop a standard protocol for sending the images. There is ongoing trial and error with a start-up company and we are so happy about the wonderful partnership has started. I am honored to have taken this journey and to have made an impact to improve outcomes for mothers and babies in Ghana. This was only the first mission for me and Ultrasound AI to better improve the lives of women and babies around the world.