• Helping Babies Breathe

    Helping Babies Breathe

    Mercy Ships Project: Helping Babies Breathe Course

    Mercy Ships healthcare education strategy aims to improve the entire surgical ecosystem in a hospital. With this objective in mind, we have developed various training projects that include mentoring, courses for groups, and observation opportunities. Courses teach specific skills and knowledge to health workers in a classroom-style setting.

    Mentoring projects allow both information building and knowledge transfer, but also strengthen the relationship between the project facilitator and participant, and produce in-depth, tailored clinical teaching. The participants in the projects are generally, but not limited to, surgeons, anesthetists, operating room nurses, ward nurses, sterile processing technicians, hospital leadership, and other support staff.

    For each participant in the Healthcare Education Program, the goal is to impart knowledge, skills, and a compassionate and professional attitude. This project plan describes the activities involved to improve the quality of care offered by local nurses.

    The goal of the Helping Babies Breathe Course in Madagascar was to increase Malagasy nurses, midwives, and birth attendants’ skills and abilities in resuscitation and care of newborns, through Peace Corps volunteers working in rural health center settings

    Activities Outcomes

    Educate 6-8 Peace Corps volunteers (PCV) in the Helping Babies Breathe curriculum through lectures and practical skills stations. Each volunteer will then train 4-6 rural nurses, midwives, and birth attendants. Peace Corps volunteers master the material and are able to train rural health center workers in Helping Babies Breathe and have adequate materials to do so.

    Follow-up with the participants in their health centers Participants learn to address problems specific to their hospitals.
    Project Description

    Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) is a neonatal resuscitation curriculum created for resource-limited circumstances. It was developed on the premise that assessment at birth and simple newborn care can improve chances for survival.

    Course Description:

    This project is a train-the-trainer course designed to help improve infant and maternal mortality rates in rural health clinics in Madagascar. To implement this project, Mercy Ships will facilitate the Helping Babies Breathe course for rural health volunteers from the U.S. Peace Corps. Prior to participating in the course, the volunteers will collect data on newborn resuscitation and survival rates, and maternal deaths to help guide potential future training projects. Volunteers will then participate in a one-day training program and given all necessary materials to reproduce the course in their rural environments. After completing the course, volunteers will aim to train 4-6 rural birth attendants, nurses, and midwives in their respective villages. A follow-up team will visit the Peace Corps Volunteers to assess retention of knowledge and skills and their ability to train rural health workers. The follow-up will also provide an opportunity to help address any problems with implementation. After training, the Peace Corps Volunteers will also collect data on newborn resuscitation and survival rates and maternal deaths to learn if there is any resulting change in clinical outcomes and will use this information for quality improvement purposes.

    Assessment of Participants:

    Facilitators will be continually assessing the performance of the participants throughout the course in order to help them address their strengths and weaknesses while helping them build upon the skills they already possess.



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