The Helping Babies Breathe training curriculum, developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, World Health Organization, USAID, and others in 2010, is an evidence-based educational program that is culturally sensitive and designed to withstand a variety of climates and teaching conditions. It is simple enough that any birth attendant can use it, yet effective. Some of the emerging lessons learned are the importance of tailoring the curriculum to the local environment and continuing to mentor and drill birth attendants after the initial training to ensure that the lessons learned in simulation translate into improved practice. These emerging lessons will be incorporated into this project.
The Helping Babies Breathe curriculum was designed for use in health facilities and has been implemented in 77 countries. However, the authors of the recent lessons learned report acknowledge that use of newborn resuscitation continues to be very low in areas where most births occur: at home. As a result, training community health workers and others who attend home births could be an important interim step to save lives while countries expand their capacity for health facility deliveries. Through this project, Carrie Jo and World Hope International will train professional health care workers and also lead the way in the effort to reach into homes and communities, quite literally training traditional birth attendants underneath the mango tree. This is a population that won’t be reached any other way any time soon, and it is what makes World Hope International’s approach novel.