Inaugural Helping Babies Breathe trainings a big success

by Patty Kelly (Helping Babies Breathe International Master Trainer)
It is often said, “teach a man how to fish and he has fish for life”. This can also be true when teaching new yet proven skills to medical personnel. While they have learned one technique or another, there will be new evidence to support changing and updating their bodies of knowledge.

This is true of the program, only a little over four years old, Helping Babies Survive. Developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics with the World Health Organization (WHO), this evidence based neonatal resuscitation course has proven itself by demonstrating up to a 47% reduction in neonatal deaths due to birth asphyxiation (Tanzania). Offered as a triad of courses which make up HBS, the first is Helping Babies Breathe, then Essential Care of Every Baby, the yet to be rolled out Helping the Small Baby Survive.
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Having taught HBB over 50 times in several developing countries, I have consistently found the class participants to be eager to learn the methodology as all have observed preventable neonatal deaths. Giving them the knowledge, practice and the tools to stop this needless tragedy has been an incredible gift to me and to the babies in need of such care.

Vietnam was no exception, and I felt the participants there were very keen and interested in putting this into practice. They asked questions that demonstrated they are already skilled at neonatal intensive care, but they understood HBB aims to prevent the baby having to be admitted to NICU in the first place. A baby who does not breathe and/or lacks good thermoregulation within the first 60 seconds after birth quickly becomes a very sick baby, thus a NICU candidate.

Follow-up is a critical part of teaching HBS. We must make sure the principles of the course are being followed at every birth. Happily, Global Engagement Institute plans to do just that. We will continue to teach HBB, adding ECEB and HSBS within the year. We will conduct data collection at each site and provide follow-up as needed.

Global Engagement Institute has found all the right people to provide support on the ground, making the logistics of such a venture so smooth I didn’t have to worry about a thing except teaching the courses. Therefore my first Vietnamese training was an incredible experience. I invite all who are Master Trainers and those who wish to become Master Trainers to join GEI in our efforts in Vietnam, and to have an experience never to be forgotten.

For further information about the program, please visit the program page.