Konica Minolta Healthcare and NYAGI Pursue Global Reach of Ultrasound, Generating Waves in Nepal

Konica Minolta Healthcare and NYAGI Pursue Global Reach of Ultrasound, Generating Waves in Nepal

This past June, Now You Are the Group’s Interest (NYAGI), a charitable organization dedicated to increasing diagnostic ultrasound use around the world, arranged a five day long service trip to Dhulikhel, Nepal. NYAGI’s mission: implement ultrasound technology for prenatal care in remote regions like Nepal.Dr. Cliff Gronseth, a Boulder, Colorado physiatrist and firm advocate for ultrasound within his practice, was one of 15 volunteers from various regions scattered across the United States to participate. He acted as the team leader for the duration of the trip.

While in Nepal, NYAGI team members aimed to teach the basics of obstetric (OB) ultrasound to a group of 30 Nepali students at Dhulikhel Hospital, who are also referred to as skilled birth attendants (SBAs). These SBAs traveled from regions throughout Nepal to participate in the intensive course. SBAs received hands-on training from NYAGI staff.

Notably, many third-world countries that have a healthcare system in place lack access to lifesaving technology. According to the UN Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group, every two minutes, a woman dies giving birth. Expectant mothers and their children are at great risk, due to unforeseen complications that can occur during childbirth. Nepal is no stranger to these issues.

NYAGI seeks to proactively save lives with ultrasound, especially pregnant women in remote, resource-limited areas. Many patients travel for hours on foot to receive medical attention.

A patient is scanned using the Konica Minolta SONIMAGE P3 ultrasound machine.

In order to combat the high number of maternal deaths, and improve the quality of care in Nepal, 10 Konica Minolta SONIMAGE® P3 portable, handheld ultrasound devices, and 30 iPads from 7D Imaging, preloaded with obNAV™, an in-depth, interactive ultrasound training app, were donated to Dhulikhel Hospital. These devices were used in teaching the OB ultrasound course.

The program was broken up into several different components—NYAGI team members including Dr. Gronseth, first gave demonstrations of ultrasound techniques and obNAV software instruction. A few days into the course, SBAs were split into small groups, each group designed to be a collaborative, cohesive learning unit, allowing them to engage in hands-on scanning.

Volunteer sonographers worked tirelessly to assist SBAs, which was quickly followed by SBAs on their way to grasping ultrasound technology and eventually applying their newly acquired knowledge on patients seeking medical care at the local hospital.

As the fifth and final day came to a close, NYAGI team members and Nepali SBAs alike, felt enthusiastic and confident in their abilities to educate and perform scans. The mission was clearly accomplished!

Ultrasound technology was successfully introduced to Dhulikhel, Nepal, and participants learned the basics of OB ultrasound firsthand, acquiring valuable skills. Going forward, Nepali healthcare providers will use the newly donated Konica Minolta SONIMAGE P3 ultrasound systems to discover potentially life-threatening OB conditions in advance.

The next challenge for NYAGI: to bring ultrasound to all of Nepal and beyond.

Photo Credit: Jason Houston

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