News Release

Helping Babies Breathe

A team of medical personnel recently volunteered valuable neonatal resuscitation training at the Lira Referral Hospital, helping reduce the mortality rates among babies who find difficulties breathing at birth

Throughout the world, one out of every ten babies born needs help breathing at birth or they do not survive.  For this reason, doctors and nurses teamed up in early September to provide training at the Lira Regional Referral Hospital.

Dr. Joyce Kaducu (Pediatrician at Gulu University), Dr. Charles Byaruhanga (Pediatrician at St. Mary’s Hospital, Locor, Gulu), along with Dr. Brent Lind (Obstetrics/Gynecology Specialist from the U.S.), and Nancy Squire (RN, MSN, FHM-C, NPD from the U.S.) provided education and training through a neonatal resuscitation program sponsored by the partnership of NU-HITES of Plan International and LDS Charities.

Fifty-seven doctors, nurses, and midwives from districts throughout Uganda were invited to participate in one of the two sessions offered.  Each participant was taught how to use the equipment and trained in the appropriate steps to take to identify and assist a newborn who is struggling to breathe.  Following the training the attendees each demonstrated the skills learned by using the resuscitation doll and equipment to show the process of helping a baby to breathe.

Nancy Squire, nurse and educator, stated, “This training was provided for people who perform deliveries so they will be able to help babies breathe.  Through this training, 90% of babies assisted to breathe will survive.”

“Helping Babies Breathe” is a program offered worldwide through the humanitarian program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They provided all training materials including: workbooks, instructional flipcharts, resuscitation dolls, suction bulbs, and ventilation bags with masks.  Those who completed the course were given this equipment to take back to their local areas and use to train others.

In closing ceremony remarks, Dr. Charles Byaruhanga asked those attending how often they had been to a training where the facilitators got down on their level and worked one-on-one with them to help gain the necessary skills and knowledge.  He added, “We are moving forward.  We have the knowledge.  We can reduce infant mortality.  Uganda can be a champion in Africa.”

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