The project foresees an intervention in favour of the most vulnerable on the medical side, pregnant women and newborns, allowing greater access to ultrasound services in the most marginalized areas of Nairobi. With a natural intervention, many lives can be saved


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World Friends is a NGO working in Kenya, in the Counties of Nairobi and Kajiado. Our main aim is improving health, educational level and social conditions of the disadvantaged population in this area. This, to give autonomy to the communities we work with. For this reason, training is a crucial component of all the projects we implement. We believe that great results can be achieved by collaborating and empowering people who live and work in the informal settlements. “SonoMobile” wants to promote mother and neonatal health by offering, to the poorest population of the informal settlements of Nairobi North-East, a mobile ultrasound service. This, to contribute to reducing the adverse outcomes of undetected complications during pregnancy. To do it with a more integrated approach; we intervene in giving priority to the training of local nurses and providing them with a new curriculum of studies and all the necessary tools. The objective is creating a social enterprise that at the end of World Friends project will run the ultrasound service autonomously


The first months of a new service are the most sensitive because you need to build trust with partners, patients and the community at large. Before the social enterprise can set off, it requires a lot of support and knowledge sharing. Only the Brave Foundation is helping us to achieve the target set for this intervention by purchasing three portable ultrasound probes for a period of eight months. This, together with the support of three nurses/midwives. In this way, the mobile ultrasound service will be covered in all its costs and many mothers-to-be can benefit from it

In Nairobi slums, the access to quality health care is not easy, especially if you are a woman and pregnant. Even though almost every mother attends at least one antenatal visit, only one out of four has access to ultrasound scans. This is one of the main determinants of the very high maternal and neonatal mortality rates that affect these marginalized areas. There are two main obstacles: the health facilities that work locally are unable to get the needed equipment because of the high cost. Qualified sonographers are very rare and too much expensive for small and weak structures. Therefore, the high prices of such service make it inaccessible for most of the slum dwellers. We understood that establishing an ultrasound service by traditional modalities would have been hardly feasible. For this reason, it comes the idea of setting up a mobile service, with specialized nurses/midwives that can reach out to the facilities in need. In this way, by promoting a broader and more equitable access to obstetric-gynaecological imaging, it is possible to identify, at early stages, a more significant number of conditions that put mothers and the survival new-borns at risk – for instance: multiple and pre-term pregnancies [M Wambui, 2016], foetal malformations [M Whitworth, 2015], ectopic pregnancies [AH Flores, 2014]. Even based on a diagnosis formulated by a nurse operating an ultrasound machine [Kimberly HH, 2010] one can adopt, in an informed manner, the necessary therapeutic precautions to prevent/reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes. This is the change the project aims at generating, translated into a reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality rates




Sono Mobile Specialized Nurse

“SonoMobile project is extremely important and it represents a great opportunity for the whole slum’s population. Women do not resort to ultrasound because they are too expensive and not culturally widespread, indeed, women still distrust it and believe to put into danger their unborn children. Although these consideration, to my point of view, ultrasound will be accepted positively because one of SonoMobile’s aim is to charge this service cheaper than in a normal hospital. However, the nurses have a duty: explain to the mothers that the ultrasound is harmless to the foetus and, what is more, it is useful in order to find any problem that she or her baby may suffer. After the training, the nurses will be ready to carry out ultrasounds of high quality. Indeed, the probe and the application are very simple to use and they will require just a lot of practice and the information achieved throughout the training sessions. Furthermore, bringing advanced technology to the informal settlement of Nairobi will improve the conditions of the expectant women, as well as whole community’s outcomes.”

Gianfranco Morino

Sono Mobile Project Manager

“SonoMobile is an innovative program offering a Mobile Obstetric Ultrasound Service to peripheral health centres and clinics. The main targets are mothers and babies from Nairobi northeast slums, one the poorest area of the megalopolis with one of the highest rate of maternal and new-born mortality. A crucial aspect of the program is the training on basic obstetric ultrasound, which will involve several nurses/midwives. This staff will gain skill and learn lifesaving diagnosis in complicated pregnancies. The support of Only the Brave Foundation is essential not only in terms of financial contribution but also in spreading the visibility of this innovative project. A big thank to OTB!”