A TAMWORTH program for expectant Indigenous mothers has been saved from the brink following the donation of a new ultrasound machine.
The Gomeroi Gaaynggal Centre’s research “was in jeopardy” after its old scanning unit perished, but a combined fundraising effort by a number of groups has kept the program alive.
To secure the new machine, The University of Newcastle provided $50,000 via its Faculty of Health and Medicine, and Research and Innovation division, Tamworth residents Tony and Karen Haggarty gave almost $16,000, the Bloomfield Group a further $10,000 , while Tamworth Rugby Union Club donated the final $8,200.
“I’d been incredibly worried about it because our research was in absolute jeopardy,” Program Director Kym Rae said.
“We’d done so much work to build up the study and, without the ultrasound, we risked losing the buy-in of our pregnant mums and the community.”
Mothers in the project undergo three scans – the first to determine pregnancy timing, the second ensure the baby is developing as they should, and the final to look at growth and well-being.
“Many babies in Indigenous communities are born small and can have a condition called intrauterine growth retardation, which can be picked up during the final ultrasound,” Assoc Prof Rae said.
“From a research perspective, we can also look at kidney development and make sure they’re on track.”