A baby’s inability to breathe at birth, known as birth asphyxia, is a major cause of newborn mortality in Malawi and can contribute to developmental disabilities and health problems into adulthood. Therefore, addressing maternal health ensures that all women receive the care they need to be safe and healthy throughout pregnancy and childbirth. Thus, safe motherhood encompasses social and cultural factors, as well as addresses health systems. Indicators used to measure maternal health include skilled attendance at birth. Morbidity and mortality related to birth asphyxia can be reduced if staff are knowledgeable and skilled in basic neonatal resuscitation and necessary equipment is available. It is against this back ground that The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection trained 41 midwives and 5 clinicians from Madisi Hospital on Helping Babies Breath (HBB) in July, 2014 which is a neonatal resuscitation training for resource-limited circumstances.
According to Dr Kambale, the training came at the right time when the hospital had only one resuscitator.
The team provided hands-on training to the midwives and clinicians to reduce mortality in situations where just basic training can save a life. The training focuses on effective, simplified training that can be used for every baby – wherever he or she is born.
By Mercy Chikhosi Nyirongo