What You Should Know:
– Butterfly Network announces the deployment of 500 Butterfly iQ+ devices, the world’s only handheld, whole-body ultrasound probe, to healthcare practitioners in Kenya to advance maternal and fetal health.
– This deployment is part of a $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand access to medical imaging across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Why It Matters
According to the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa1, about 830 women die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications around the world every day with more than half of these deaths occurring in Sub-Saharan Africa. As part of the launch today at Kenyatta University, Butterfly Network convened 50 practitioners who were each provided a Butterfly device and obstetric ultrasound training. 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. Partners including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Kenyatta University, Global Ultrasound Institute, and Jamf also contributed to making this initiative possible. The ceremony featured clinicians being trained on-site to use the Butterfly devices and local pregnant women who received ultrasound exams for the very first time.
“The vast majority of the world’s population lacks access to medical imaging equipment and training, a gap that limits what’s possible when it comes to assessing the health and risk of a patient and a community at large. With Butterfly, we are changing that,” said Darius Shahida, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Business Development Officer, Butterfly Network. “Our work here 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. 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.”