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Revolution in Prenatal Care in Rusayo: SPAQ App Transforms Maternal Health in Conflict Zones

In the remote and conflict-affected areas of North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, access to regular obstetric care remains a major challenge. However, a glimmer of hope shines through the SPAQ mobile application, which is transforming the way prenatal care is delivered in the Rusayo displaced persons camp in Masisi.

 

This innovative project is being implemented by CARITAS, Développement Nord Kivu (CADEGO), in partnership with SOIK CORPORATION SARL, and is funded by the Japanese government under the auspices of UNFPA. The initiative aims to significantly improve access and quality of maternal and neonatal care in a region marked by instability.

 

Before the introduction of SPAQ, prenatal care was limited to basic manual consultations. According to a local midwife, the application has revolutionized practices by enabling not only listening to the fetal heart but also visualizing the baby on the screen for better assessment and dating of the pregnancy. SPAQ helps detect potential fetal anomalies, thus improving the chances of management and childbirth planning.

 

One patient expresses her joy and satisfaction: "This is my first ultrasound. Seeing my baby breathing brings me great joy." These words underline the emotional and psychological impact of access to quality care.

 

Since the launch of SPAQ in April 2023, six midwives have been trained to use this technology, providing vital consultations to approximately 5,000 women. The field team notes a significant improvement in access to care, despite the challenges posed by the war context. The initiative includes four mobile clinics spread across different displaced persons camps, offering essential services to otherwise isolated communities.

 

The SPAQ application, developed as part of a project funded by the Japanese government and implemented by CADEGO with the support of SOIK Corporation under the auspices of UNFPA, demonstrates how adapted technologies can revolutionize maternal healthcare in conflict zones. By facilitating accurate and real-time diagnostics, SPAQ not only improves access to essential care but also strengthens communities' capacity to manage the health of pregnant women in an extremely difficult environment, affirming the crucial role of technological innovation in achieving public health goals.



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