Helping Babies Breathe

Partnership objective

Reduce infant mortality: Improve the skills of health care workers in low resource settings to address birth asphyxia.

Since 2010, professionals and other birth attendants trained through Johnson & Johnsons birth asphyxia programs have touched the lives of more than 12.6 million women and children. Since 2010, professionals and other birth attendants trained through Johnson & Johnsons birth asphyxia programs have touched the lives of more than 12.6 million women and children. Copyright American Academy of Pediatrics

What are the health needs and challenges?

Recent worldwide data show that each year approximately 10 million babies do not breathe immediately at birth, of which about 6 million require basic neonatal resuscitation. Johnson & Johnson first initiated a program to address birth asphyxia in China in 2004. This partnership between the Chinese Ministry of Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Johnson & Johnson demonstrated a 53% decline in birth asphyxia mortality in 360 hospitals surveyed. This success in China led to the expansion of newborn resuscitation efforts to Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa, Uganda and Vietnam.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges:

The Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) program is a safe births initiative strengthening training programs to help babies breathe at birth and is expected to save the lives of thousands of babies. This effort is being implemented in collaboration with Save the Children, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and USAID. The program aims to increase resuscitation skill capacity of providers at all targeted health facility levels to enable them successfully manage birth asphyxia in newborns; in order to contribute to the reduction in newborn morbidity and mortality due to asphyxia. In-service training to strengthen essential newborn care and neonatal resuscitation capacity for health providers and provision of relevant equipment and supplies will better equip providers and facilities to manage birth asphyxia. In the longer term, this intervention/capacity can be taken up by the Ministries of Health and partners for national scale-up.

The HBB curriculum is designed to be used as part of a coordinated educational approach to early neonatal care and can be locally taught to birth attendants in diverse venues and locations. HBB focuses on practices that all persons who care for babies at birth can learn to care for healthy babies and/or assist babies who do not breathe on their own. To accomplish this goal, HBB has developed a comprehensive training solution, which includes:

  • An evidence-based educational program, based on the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) Consensus on Science conclusions that have undergone a WHO scientific technical review.
  • Culturally sensitive, pictorial-based learning materials including a Learner Workbook, Action Plan wall poster, and Facilitator Flip Chart.
  • Realistic newborn simulator with the ability to imitate an umbilical pulse, bag-mask ventilators, and bulb suction that can be cleaned by boiling. All equipment has been tested for durability in a variety of climates and teaching conditions and will be made available at cost to MDG countries.
  • An ongoing mentorship program to provide expert assistance, implementation guidance, knowledge exchange, integration and evaluation support, and continuous quality improvement for sustained practice outcomes and decreased infant mortality.

Summary of impact and forward looking information:

Since 2010, professionals and other birth attendants trained through Johnson & Johnsons birth asphyxia programs have touched the lives of more than 12.6 million women and children.

In its first two years, HBB provided life-saving skills training to more than 600 health workers in Malawi and Uganda, many of whom are now HBB trainers.

Videos

Helping Babies Breathe

Partnership information

Company(ies) Johnson & Johnson

Partner(s) American Academy of Pediatrics, Earth Institute at Columbia University, Save the Children, US Agency for International Development (USAID)

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals, Government, NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Women and Children's Health

Disease(s) Children's Health, Obstetrics, Women's Health

Program Type(s) Health System Infrastructure - Training

Targeted Population(s) Children, Marginalised / Indigenous People, Mothers, People with low income, Women

Region(s) East Asia & Pacific, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 11

Country(ies) Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa, Uganda, Vietnam

Start Date 2010

More information Helping Babies Breathe

Anticipated completion date 2015