KENYA – The Government of Kenya has secured 500 Butterfly iQ+ devices from the Butterfly Network, Inc. that will help healthcare practitioners provide quality maternal and fetal health care to patients across the country.
The devices were unveiled during a ceremony held at Kenyatta University that was graced by clinicians being trained on-site to use the Butterfly devices and local pregnant women who received ultrasound exams for the very first time.
The digital health company announced that the deployment of the Butterfly iQ+ devices to healthcare practitioners in Kenya aims to transform maternal and fetal health.
As part of the launch, 50 practitioners who had received obstetric ultrasound training from the Global Ultrasound Institute were each provided a Butterfly device.
Butterfly noted in its statement that the hundreds of healthcare providers throughout Kenya will be able to use handheld ultrasound to treat and care for hundreds of thousands of pregnant patients.
In addition, each medical device is set up with the right permissions and restrictions that ensure each practitioner can have a rapid login process and express scan mode while ensuring patient privacy is intact and data is secure.
Prof. Waceke Wanjohi, Acting Vice-Chancellor, Kenyatta University underscored that hundreds of practitioners equipped with Butterfly devices and training will now be able to help bring improved care for mothers and their children in our communities.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor of Kenyatta University further acknowledged that maternal and fetal care in Kenya is stronger because of companies like Butterfly, Global Ultrasound Institute and friends like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Through a training-of-trainers program, a total of 500 practitioners will be trained by the end-of-the year by the Global Ultrasound Institute, bringing ultrasound capabilities to over 50 facilities in rural, underserved communities facing maternal health challenges.
The advanced medical devices and personalized training for healthcare practitioners come at a time when expanding access to medical imaging technology in Kenya is critical to maternal and fetal health.
Darius Shahida, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Business Development Officer, Butterfly Network observed that the vast majority of the world’s population lacks access to medical imaging equipment and training.
He explained that the lack of access to medical imaging equipment and training limits what’s possible when it comes to assessing the health and risk of a patient and a community at large while reaffirming Butterfly aims to bridge the gap.
He further said that Butterfly’s work in Kenya represents the beginning of what’s possible in terms of providing practitioners with the tools, training, and confidence to transform care with ultrasound information. c
“Obstetricians in high-income countries use ultrasound every day and so we’re honored to empower midwives across Africa with the same ability – one we know will meaningfully enhance care for pregnant women and their unborn infants,” Darius added.
The medical devices deployment program is supported by a US$5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The program targets to provide about 1,000 healthcare workers in Sub-Saharan Africa with the devices which are the world’s only handheld, whole-body ultrasound probes used to advance maternal and fetal health.