The Gambia, "the smiling coast of Africa," is surrounded by Senegal and positioned on the Western coast of Africa. With a population around 2.7 million, the Gambia has a maternal mortality rate of 288 per 100,000, the ninth highest in the world and nearly nine times greater than the U.S. maternal mortality rate of 33 per 100,000. Health facilities are crowded along the west coast of the nation but they are marked with suboptimal infrastructure, non-sterile environments, and a serious deficit of trained obstetricians and anesthesiologists who must also make do with broken or unusable equipment.
Global Programs' year-long needs assessment in The Gambia revealed gaps in their healthcare system which need to be addressed through enhanced infrastructure and training. As a result, we implemented a pilot project where Baylor’s Smart Pod® will provide reliable, functional and sterile environments for deliveries, and Baylor obstetricians, anesthesiologists, nurses and midwives will train our Gambian colleagues to improve overall patient care.