URC Presents Newborn Resuscitation Improvement Methods at APHA Annual Meeting

Ms. Annie Clark, URC's Senior Quality Improvement Advisor for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (MNCH), presented "Improving Newborn Resuscitation in Uganda" during the "Child Survival and Child Health 2" session at the American Public Health Association's (APHA's) 140th Annual Meeting & Exposition in San Francisco this week. Ms. Clark developed the presentation in collaboration with Dr. Youssef Tawfik, URC's Director of MNCH/Family Planning. The presentation described the challenges of applying newborn resuscitation in developing countries and discussed the contribution of quality improvement in overcoming these challenges, with specific examples from Uganda. 

Every year, an estimated four million newborns die during their first month of life. Half of these deaths occur in the first 24 hours after birth, often as a result of asphyxia, which occurs when the newborn receives an inadequate supply of oxygen immediately before, during, or just after delivery. Evidence demonstrates that immediate resuscitation of asphyxiated newborns can significantly reduce asphyxia-related newborn mortality. But challenges remain in ensuring the implementation of this proven practice in low-resource settings. 

In 2011, the USAID Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) applied modern quality improvements methods to build the capacity of facilities in two districts in Uganda to routinely detect and resuscitate asphyxiated newborns. After 10 months of implementation, the proportion of providers who could successfully carry out all resuscitation steps on a model increased from 16% to 62%. Consequently, among 936 deliveries conducted in 34 health facilities in the two districts in September 2011, all 95 asphyxiated newborns received resuscitation, 77% of them successfully, demonstrating rapid implementation of a neonatal resuscitation program in a resource-constrained setting. 

The session also featured presentations from the Indiana Hemophilia & Thrombosis Center, Inc.; Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kenya; Kenya National Bureau of Statistics; Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Mercer University's Department of Global Studies; and Helen Keller International.

About the Meeting

The APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition is the oldest and largest gathering of public health professionals in the world, attracting more than 13,000 national and international health specialists to address current and emerging health science, policy, and practice issues in an effort to prevent disease and promote health. This year's theme is "Prevention and Wellness Across the Life Span."  

Click here to see the full meeting program.

November 01, 2012
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