launched by the American Academy of Pediatrics in Tanzania called “Helping Babies Breathe
” showed a 47 percent decrease in newborn deaths occurring in the
first 24 hours of life during the program’s initial implementation in 2009.
Since then, Tanzania has become the first of 77 countries using the Helping
Babies Breathe (HBB) program on a national scale, according to an independent
evaluation to be published in the May 2017 issue of Pediatrics. The study, “Implementation of
‘Helping Babies Breathe’: A Three-Year Experience in Tanzania,” (published
online April 17) found the program to be successful in equipping more than
13,000 health care providers with life-saving newborn resuscitation skills and
equipment. But the authors conclude that assessing the program’s impact on
neonatal mortality will require further effort because of the difficulty in
measuring impact using existing data systems. Additional training periods were
also recommended to help workers retain their skills in using the recommended
interventions. Neonatal mortality accounts for almost half of all deaths among
children under the age of 5, and nearly all of these deaths occur in low- and
middle-income countries. After its initial launch at eight locations in 2009,
the Tanzania program was rolled out in 15 of the country’s 25 mainland regions
from May 2013 through December 2014.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org
and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.