While ultrasound is routine in high-income countries, two-thirds of pregnant women in the world don’t have access to them. In Kenya, an initial cohort of Kenyan nurses and midwives have been trained to use a portable ultrasound designed specifically for low- and middle-income countries. This handheld device is easy to operate and only about 5% of the cost of larger machines. Grace Kirigo Githemo, a researcher at Kenya’s Kenyatta University, trained 500 local nurses and midwives in regions with the highest maternal and newborn mortality rates to identify five high-risk conditions and refer those patients to a higher-level facility. Six months later, midwives told her team that they were able to identify breech babies and in one case, a pregnant woman carrying triplets.  “One facility told me that for the last six months, they had not had a fetal death,” Githemo says. “It was very encouraging.”

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