St. Stephen's Hospital Mpererwe COU is a Private Not for Profit Organization which was founded in July 1987 by the Christians of St.Stephen's Church of Uganda Mpererwe. It is registered with the Ministry of Health and with the Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau through Namirembe diocese. The hospital is located 7 kilometers from Kampala City center. The catchment area has a population of about 100,000 people. The hospital offers both curative and preventive services including treatment of common illnesses, maternity, dental, immunization, surgery, community outreaches and radiology services.
A recent study sponsored by imaging the world (ITW) demonstrated that providing pregnant women in rural Uganda access to ultrasound screening resulted in a ''magnet effect'' on overall improved quality of maternal and new born care. The study also showed increases in the number of women attending antenatal visits and in husbands taking a more active role in health choices surrounding pregnancies for the very first time. It also showed a near doubling of new borns delivered by skilled healthcare workers.
The current situation
In 2011, we procured a basic black and white (gray scale) ultrasound machine (Model DP100 Mindray) and probes thanks to Rotary. It has played a great role in maternal-child health in the community of Mpererwe and the surrounding areas.
The numbers of ultrasound examinations have overwhelmingly increased, hence increased workload on the available machine. The current ultrasound scan has done over 6000 examinations and has impacted lives of many especially mothers and new borns in the community.
What can be done
The current' ultrasound scan machine which was procured over 7 years ago is in a sorry state. It has become obsolete, compromising on the accuracy of final diagnosis. As a result, an upgrade to a newer advanced ultrasound machine like; PHILLIPS HD 11, which is durable, superior screen /image resolution, allows wide range of investigations with Doppler, portable, can be moved around and can withstand harsh community conditions is urgently needed.
When we get a new machine, we can be able to work on a variety of investigations as compared to only obstetrics being done now. We can have a wider scope of investigations including Obstetrics, Pelvic, Abdominal, Small Parts (that is Breast Scans, Thyroid and Scrotal Scans), Vascular / Doppler Scans and Cardiac Echo for the heart among others. The machine will cost $ 40,000. The hospital has a maintenance plan that is funded. Sustainability will be ensured by user fees that are paid by the patients.
The acquisition of a new modern ultrasound scan machine will greatly advance community health through improving the care given to the mothers and their newborns by enabling early diagnosis of complications. Also, many more mothers will be reached, many more new born children will be saved and many more families will thrive.