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New Study By Imaging The World And Philips Demonstrates The Power Of Ultrasound Screenings To Transform Maternal And Newborn Care In Rural Uganda

ANDOVER, Mass., Nov. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest neonatal mortality rate (32 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2012) and accounts for 38 percent of neonatal deaths globally.[i] Concomitantly, the maternal mortality rate is estimated at 500 deaths per 1,000,000 live births representing 162,000 maternal deaths annually.[ii] A recent study sponsored by Imaging the World (ITW), and funded in part by Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), demonstrated that providing pregnant women in rural Uganda access to ultrasound screenings resulted in a "magnet effect" on overall improved quality of maternal and newborn care.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110726/NY41282LOGO )

The study, implemented at Nawanyago Health Centre III, showed increases in the number of women attending antenatal visits and in husbands taking a more active role in health choices surrounding pregnancy for the very first time. It also showed a near-doubling of newborns delivered by skilled health care workers.

The study was recently published in the Public Library of Science Journal (PLOS One): http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0078450

"The availability of a low-cost, accessible and affordable ultrasound program may assist progress towards Millennium Development Goal 5 by encouraging women in a rural environment to come to a health care facility for skilled antenatal care and delivery assistance instead of utilizing more traditional methods," said Peter van de Ven, general manager, Philips Healthcare Africa.

About Millennium Development Goal 5

Improving maternal health is Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG) of the United Nations Millennium Declaration: a road map of goals to address poverty widely prevalent in the world's developing nations. Two targets were selected to monitor progress towards MDG 5 by the 2015 deadline: 1) reducing the maternal mortality ratio by 75 percent and; 2) increasing the proportion of births attended by skilled health care personnel by 90 percent.

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