Fortunately, delivery for her next child would be much easier and safer. She had access to a second-generation health post that offers quality antenatal care and maternity services – all a short walk from her home in Mbuganzeri village area in Rwanda. Eugenie gave birth to a healthy baby girl in March of this year. The health post was available to Eugenie because of a collaboration launched last year between the Rwandan Ministry of Health, the non-profit organization the Society for Family Health Rwanda (SFH Rwanda) and Abbott to expand access to primary care and testing in rural areas of Rwanda. This reimagined healthcare delivery model is an important step toward meeting Rwanda's mission of providing access to care within a 30-minute walk for all citizens. Expanding Access to Quality Care The second-generation health posts were piloted in 2019 with eight locations in Bugesera district. The new health posts build on progress seen with earlier first-generation health posts designed to provide essential health services in mostly rural communities. What makes them 'second generation' is a smart design aimed at optimizing effective care for patients and efficient operations for health providers, as well as additional health and diagnostic services beyond what was available at first-generation health posts. In addition to much-needed maternity wards and antenatal care, the new health posts offer HIV testing, treatment for infectious diseases (malaria, respiratory infections and intestinal parasites), pharmacy services and health education. They are also quickly becoming a destination for the management of common noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. In addition, Abbott is actively working with the Rwandan Ministry of Health and SFH Rwanda to evaluate the expansion of services to include addressing nutritional deficiencies. 'Second-generation health posts are so important because they provide more comprehensive services,' says Manasseh Wandera, executive director of SFH Rwanda. 'We have everything from malaria testing and treatment, HIV testing, family planning services and antenatal care. The health posts are reducing financial hardships and increasing service delivery for people who need testing and care.' Abbott experts worked side-by-side with SFH Rwanda and the Rwandan Ministry of Health to not only design and construct the eight health posts, but also to establish the clinics as effective businesses. Abbott developed and delivered clinical training materials and helped health post operators strengthen business skills like how to establish a budget, promote services, order and manage inventory, track income and profits, and measure return on investment. Localized Innovation Advances Antenatal Care With the addition of antenatal and maternity care, the second-generation health posts make it easier for mothers like Eugenie to get the care they need before and after birth, making mother and baby healthier. In rural Rwanda, women average significantly fewer antenatal visits compared to the eight checkups recommended by the World Health Organization. That’s why the pilot program focused on finding ways to maximize the number of crucial services that can be delivered in a single antenatal visit, including testing for infectious diseases that have a potentially serious and even fatal impact on the mother and child – HIV, syphilis, malaria and hepatitis B. To provide health providers with better tools to optimize antenatal visits, Abbott bundled diagnostic tests for syphilis, malaria, HIV and hepatitis B into one panel that requires a single fingerstick of blood for diagnosis. Abbott designed the Antenatal Care Panel for use in decentralized settings where larger, automated instrumentation was not well-suited – a clear example of how businesses can deliver shared value by developing targeted innovations to solve local health challenges.