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Provide FIRST ultrasound unit ever to this Congo community



Our goal
Buy ultrasound unit for OB/GYN and other common conditions with training by physicians from Columbia Univ Med Center
The Challenge

Click to see video of Katonda's Hospital

Project Summary:  My name is Dr. Jacques Sebisaho and our organization, Amani Global Works, is providing healthcare for the first time to 100,000 people on Idjwi, a remote island in the eastern Congo.  With strong community participation, we have built a hospital that now provides inpatient and outpatient care for many conditions.  Last year we treated 112 people with cholera without the loss of a single life—possible because we had the skill and equipment to give patients IV replacement of electrolytes.

With additional equipment and training, we can greatly expand our ability to save lives.  Our greatest need now is to obtain an ultrasound unit that will enable us to provide maternal care and delivery and to perform surgeries and other procedures that require internal imaging of the body. 

The completed hospital in the fall of 2014.

Global Health Problem and Solution:  Several billion people worldwide lack access to diagnostic and treatment procedures that require non-invasive imaging.  Ultrasound is a quick, inexpensive way of seeing inside the body to diagnose illness and guide treatment procedures.  It is rapidly being recognized as a tool that has wide applications in general medical care, especially in developing areas.  Ultrasound can be used to:

  • Monitor the progress of pregnancy
  • Diagnose internal trauma
  • Diagnose pathology of the heart, lung, eyes, bones and abdominal organs
  • Guide placement of needles to provide IV delivery of medications, drain fluids from the body, and perform lumbar punctures to diagnose meningitis.

Working with two physicians from Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center’s Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, who specialize in extending the use of ultrasound, we will purchase a portable ultrasound unit for our hospital in Katonda.  Drs. David Kessler and Lorraine Ng, who have trained medical staff in Haiti, India and elsewhere to use ultrasound, will travel to Idjwi to provide training for our hospital staff.  

Cost and potential impact:  Ultrasound units can be used to perform procedures that save many times their cost in economic burden of illness on families and communities as a whole.  They are lighter, less expensive and less invasive that other forms of imaging such as X-rays and MRI, and thus ideal for settings in the developing world.  We will use the funds we raise to purchase a high quality, portable ultrasound unit and to cover travel costs for Drs. Kessler and Ng to travel to Idjwi for a week to train our physicians and nurses.  They will continue to be available for consultation and interpretation of images via internet after they return to the US.  The potential benefit of ultrasound in Idjwi is great because it has very high birth rates, maternal mortality (1.8%) and infant mortality (16%), as well as high rates of malnutrition, accidents and infectious disease.

Children waiting for breakfast from our program to fight malnutrition

About the organization:  In 2005, Dr. Jacques Sebisaho returned to his birthplace on Idjwi Island in Lake Kivu in the eastern edge of the Democratic Republic of Congo to start an outpatient clinic and to found Amani Global Works (AGW), a nonprofit organization to develop health care in the region.  Since 2011, AGW has worked with local residents to build a small hospital in the village of Katonda on Idjwi, using plans from Partners in Health.   Since the hospital opened fully in late 2014, we have expanded our staff and are providing OB/GYN and surgical services for the first time.  The hospital equipment and lighting run on solar power—the only source of electric power on the island.  Although we have an X-ray machine, lack of ultrasound greatly limits our ability to provide safe, high quality care.  

Dr. Jacques Sebisaho and community construction workers mixing cement to raise the walls.


Members of the Women's Advisory Board enter the building for a meeting.

Medical and administrative staff

Curious children at the hospital


Additional resources:



See how far we've come

Our milestones
  • YING

  • Michael

  • John

  • Bret

  • Yudy

  • Garrett

  • James

  • David


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