Helping Babies Breathe

Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) is an evidence-based educational program designed to teach birth attendants around the world how to respond to some of the early dangers faced by babies in resource-constrained settings. HBB training focuses on keeping babies alive through the first five minutes of life. HBB was developed by the World Health Organization, American Academy of Pediatrics, and other global health leaders with the goal of reducing deaths among babies in the first 28 days of life. Together with partners in Peru and Haiti, GHI has brought this training to regions that struggle with high newborn death rates. 

Baby receiving breathing treatment
A simple breathing intervention helps saves lives during the “golden minute” after birth.

Educating local providers on neonatal care

The regions of Loreto, Peru and Artibonite, Haiti face challenges of poverty and lack of access to high quality medical care. Often, babies are delivered at home or in healthcare settings without supervision by a skilled attendant. Our train-the-trainer model ensures not only that these birth attendants can intervene when a baby is born not breathing, but also that local providers can teach their peers and create a network of trained attendants.

Family with baby in Peru
Baby Janet was saved by a trained Helping Babies Breathe provider.

Helping babies breathe in Peru

The Peru Helping Babies Breathe project is based in the Amazon basin city of Iquitos and targets some areas of the geographically isolated Loreto region. With support from our partner hospital Clinica Adventista Ana Stahl and the regional Ministry of Health, we have employed three Peruvian staff to assist with implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the program. Since the project began in July 2015, over 200 health professionals have completed HBB training and we have already learned of several lives that were saved due to their HBB skills. 

nurse being trained
Health providers in rural Nepal practice their newly acquired Helping Babies Breathe skills.

Helping babies breathe in Nepal

Global Health Initiatives teamed up with Scheer Memorial Adventist Hospital in Banepa, Nepal to train nurses and doctors on Helping Babies Breathe. In Nepal the neonatal mortality rate is approximately 28 deaths per 1,000 live births. In the U.S. the rate is approximately 6 per 1,000 live births. Dr. Dale Mole, CEO of Scheer Memorial Adventist Hospital, has seen a high need for this program, as many in the region have no formal training. “We still have a number of preventable deaths,” Dr. Mole said. Prior to HBB training over 60% of Nepali nursing students could not perform the resuscitation skills required at birth. After the classes, 100% of participants could perform the needed resuscitation.

Upcoming Trips

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