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1.5m pregnant mothers to benefit from GE Vscan by 2020

The number of pregnant wedding benefiting from Vscan Access Task Shifting Programme is expected to hit 1.5 million by 2020.

The programme is being implemented by General Electric (GE) Healthcare, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

The Vscan houses ultra-smart ultrasound technology that provides doctors with an immediate, non-invasive method to help secure visual information about what is happening inside the body.

At almost the size of a smartphone, the portable Vscan can easily be taken from room to room to be used in many clinical, hospital or primary care settings.

In the area of maternal and newborn health in ongoing projects in Ghana, a combination of the Vscan with education and training is demonstrating a meaningful impact in the rural setting.

Speaking at the opening of a two-day health conference in Accra, Eyong Ebai, General Manager of West, Central and French sub-Saharan Africa at GE Healthcare, said, GE has collaborated with the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service to implement the Vscan Access Task Shifting Programme across 125 districts in Ghana, to train and equip healthcare professionals at the primary healthcare level with portable ultrasound.

According to him, this has been made possible by the commitment to long-term services maintenance through investment in local logistics and spare parts inventory and a local WCA Service Centre, which has provided good job opportunities for over 15 field service engineers and over 20 business support personnel.

He stressed the need for a continuous country-level platform to discuss key industry issues in an effort to champion Universal Health Coverage (UHC) attainment. To this end, such a forum is being held to drive conversations around collaborations in providing innovative sustainable healthcare solutions to help accelerate UHC.

Key stakeholders (healthcare leaders from General Electric, policymakers, healthcare professionals across all specialties, decision makers, departmental heads, investors, financing institutions, etc) for a two-day health conference, dubbed ‘Elevating healthcare through collaborations’.

The conference will drive innovative sustainable healthcare discussions, share insights, experiences, best practices, innovation, product and services, all aimed at improving the overall healthcare needs of Ghana.

Farid Fezoua, Chief Executive Officer of General Electric (GE) Africa, said in his speech, “GE is working together with governments, private sector and NGOs to develop public-private partnerships, scaling affordable and relevant outcome-based solutions.”

He said that GE is “developing new delivery models that aim to improve access, clinical quality and patient outcomes”, which are aimed at strengthening primary healthcare as an essential step in supporting governments in the attainment of Universal Healthcare Coverage.

Fezoua told the attendees that 18 programmes have been implemented in seven countries, which have directly impacted over 150,000 expectant women, mothers and newborns while 1,500 healthcare workers, including midwives, nurses and other primary healthcare workers, have been trained.

He revealed that GE Healthcare is providing comprehensive solutions to the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, ranging from diagnostic imaging, life care solutions, project management, and financing support.

He went further to say that to help tackle the disease burden to health worker deficit, GE has established four healthcare training cum innovation centres in Algeria, Kenya, Egypt, and South Africa to serve the continent.
He also said that GE is keen on developing digital healthcare solution in-continent that connects patients to doctors and doctors to specialists by breaking down the barriers of distance and cost.

Deputy Health Minister, Alexander K Abban said “reducing maternal mortality crucially depends upon ensuring that women have access to quality care before, during and after childbirth”.

Quoting from the 2017 Ghana Maternal Health Survey, the fertility rate in the country has reduced from 6.4 in 1988 to 3.4.

GE remains focused on helping healthcare providers to increase access to more affordable and quality healthcare, improve skills capacity and ultimately support better patient outcomes across Africa.

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