Sixteen women die every day giving birth in Uganda.
Such inequity is found in no other area of health care, with mothers in developing countries having up to 500 times higher life time risk of dying while giving birth.
If birth attendants are properly trained and equipped, they can save many lives from the main killers at birth—asphyxia and postpartum hemorrhage. “Helping Babies Breathe” and “Helping Mothers Survive” are two initiatives that facilitate effective training of many more health workers in basic emergency obstetric and newborn care.
Helping Babies Breathe was introduced in 2010 by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Its implementation is supported by an alliance with the U.S. Agency for International Development, National Institutes of Health, Save the Children, AAP and Laerdal as partners.
HBB is a neonatal resuscitation curriculum that is designed to be used in areas with insufficient resources. It was developed on the premise that assessment at birth and simple newborn care are things that every baby deserves. The initial steps taught in HBB can save lives and give a much better start to many babies who struggle to breathe at birth. The focus is to meet the needs of every baby born.
Helping Mothers Survive bleeding after birth is a complementary program developed by Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, in collaboration with Laerdal.
Helping Mothers Survive bleeding after birth focuses on control of postpartum hemorrhage and communication training. The course materials are very visual and interactive, and highly affordable.
MamaNatalie is a birthing simulator that allows the instructor to create very compelling simulations of normal to more complex birthing scenarios.
The simulator is particularly realistic for training in the control of postpartum hemorrhage—the number one cause of maternal death during childbirth— and communication with the mother.
MamaNatalie gives birth to NeoNatalie, a highly realistic newborn simulator which is included in every kit.
The Drexel and Makerere teams have been formally trained in the HBB and HMS programs and are now providing training to midwives at Komamboga so that they can use the procedures in their work, and so that they can in turn train other midwives, and so on, and so on. The Drexel and Makerere medical staff will be spreading the training to other community health centers in the coming weeks.