Thursday, February 19, 2015

Day 9 - Back to Komamboga for HBB plus

Our medical team spent Monday at Komamboga, this time teaching "Helping Babies Breathe plus". This technique goes beyond HBB and deals with babies after they are born.

Uganda faces one of the most challenging newborn health situations in East Africa.  Each year nearly 35,000 newborns die within the first 28 days of life and there are an additional 38,500 stillbirths.

Stillbirths are 50% more likely among babies born to mothers who are younger than 20 than to those aged 20 – 29.  The overwhelming majority of neonatal deaths in Uganda due to preterm birth, intrapartum complications, and severe infections including sepsis, meningitis, pneumonia and diarrhea.

In response to the high neonatal mortality rate in Uganda, international partners joined together in 2010 to implement Helping Babies Breath plus (HBB plus), an initiative designed to save newborns that die from birth asphyxia each year in Uganda and other countries.

So, on Monday, our team continued the training of midwives at Komamboga with the HBB plus course.

On Monday evening we were back at Rotary Club of Kampala North. They are the Ugandan sponsoring club (along with Rotary Club of Blue Bell in the Philadelphia area) for our project. Our team was asked to update the club on how our mothers and babies health care project is going.

We had another team member arrive tonight.  After the Rotary meeting, I took the 3 hour drive down to Entebbe with new friend Rotaractor Basha to greet Margaret McMahan. Maggie is a certified midwife at Drexel. Welcome Maggie! It’s nice to have you here.

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