Expanding technology and training in Malawi to provide critical care to those in need
Dr. Israel Sambakunsi, family medicine registrar at Mangochi District Hospital in Malawi, examines a patient using a point of care ultrasound device.
The Providence family of organizations’ Global and Domestic Engagement team has supported locally led initiatives to improve health in Malawi, Africa, since 2017. This is part of our international effort to extend the Mission and provide care and resources to more people in need.
Providence began partnering with the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences in 2021 to address the lack of imaging equipment needed to diagnose and treat a range of critical health issues by donating a point of care ultrasound device for training and patient care. Our partner institution, the Mangochi District Hospital, previously had only one dedicated ultrasound machine to provide imaging for an area with approximately 1.3 million people.
In 2022, Providence grew this collaboration by providing an additional three battery-powered, pocket-sized ultrasound devices, avoiding the need for a live electric current in areas with an unreliable power supply.
Recognizing that use of the ultrasound device requires training, Providence also donated $30,000 for a program that is projected to train 26 clinicians, who will in turn each train another 20, leading to hundreds of clinicians who will be able to use the devices and extend clinical care to more patients.
The increased number of devices and clinicians trained to use them is expected to drastically increase the number of scans that hospital staff can perform. In addition, trainees will take this knowledge to other clinics and service areas for even greater impact. With ultrasound technology and training, clinicians can provide life-saving diagnoses and treatment plans faster and more accurately to many more patients.