Imagine not being able to do an ultrasound on your unborn baby if you suspect something is wrong?
For women in rural and remote communities, this is a concerning reality.
The pioneering Healthy Newborn Project run by the University of South Australia gives remote doctors and midwives access to vital ultrasound training which can then be taken back to their communities – many of which are without a critical ultrasound service.
Why are ultrasounds so important?
Ultrasounds can predict which women may be at risk of developing serious complications during pregnancy and birth, lowering the risk of foetal distress and preventing devastating stillbirths.
However, ultrasound access is limited, delayed or non-existent in many rural and remote communities in Australia.
Health professionals in these areas also have to be a ‘jack of all trades’ dealing with all sorts of health conditions, so regular ultrasound training is vital to ensure they keep up their skills to help deliver high quality care to mothers and their unborn babies.
Which areas are most in need?
So far, the Healthy Newborn Project has delivered training to more than 65 doctors and midwives from across Australia (see map!).
They have been able to take this knowledge back to their communities and help countless mothers and babies in rural and remote areas.
“The accolades for the ultrasound training course haven’t stopped since,” Dr Sam Heard OAM said.
“It was definitely the best experience anyone has had in this area.”