Staff from Mowbray Maternity Hospital’s radiography department sacrificed their spare time to host a scan-a-thon for 100 expecting mothers on Saturday July 21 in commemoration of Mandela Day.
Department assistant director, Donell van Heerden, said the initiative came about after noticing that many of the patients referred to the hospital had never had a baseline scan, which is the first scan an expecting mother would have and should ideally be done at the first antenatal visit.
“Our team agreed that this initiative would be a great benefit for expecting mothers and the medical staff at the hospital. The availability of pregnancy scans is not always accessible at certain clinics and many mothers can’t afford private medical services,” she said.
They analysed pregnancy statistics from referring clinics, to determine which facilities would benefit the most from this initiative.
Hout Bay, Masiphumelele, Parkwood and Seawinds clinics, who offer basic antenatal care services, were selected. Each clinic nominated 25 mothers to take part in the initiative.
“Many expecting mothers from the identified clinics are often referred to Mowbray Maternity Hospital later in their pregnancy, due to complications or because of a suspected overdue pregnancy. Because many of the referred clients had never undergone a baseline scan or can confirm the date of their last menstruation, it makes it difficult for medical staff to manage a pregnancy of an unknown gestation. This initiative will therefore assist our patients and our medical team,” said Ms Van Heerden.
She said the baseline scan would confirm the pregnancy and determine the gestational age and due date of the baby.
The scan also determines whether there is a multiple pregnancy, if the foetus’ heart is beating and where the placenta or afterbirth is located.