Helping Babies Breathe Training Provides Newborn Resuscitation Skills to Jacaranda’s Nurses


Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) is an international evidence-based program teaching newborn resuscitation skills in low resource settings. The concepts are essential, but basic enough that any person involved in the care of delivering mothers and their newborns can be trained to provide life-saving interventions. The WHO estimates that 900,000 babies die each year from birth asphyxia. Within Kenya, intrapartum asphyxia is estimated to underlie up to 45% of all admissions to newborn care units. Simply recognizing, and managing, neonatal breathing problems immediately after birth can save lives. HBB focuses on addressing this key concept during the “Golden Minute®” after delivery when babies who are not breathing on their own may need assistance to breathe with a bag and mask ventilation device.

On February 23rd and 24th, 2016, Helping Babies Breathe Kenya conducted a Master Trainer workshop at Jacaranda Health’s Kahawa West hospital. This allowed for a group of nurses from Jacaranda, as well as a nurse from a partner public facility, Ruiru Sub-District Hospital, to be certified HBB Master Trainers by the end of the two-day course. The event was integral to capacity building in Kiambu County, as it established a group of nurses who can train other health care workers to provide basic newborn resuscitation in a low resource setting. The course focused on mastery of the HBB skill set and how to teach and maintain these skills in order to achieve sustainability and high fidelity to the Helping Babies Breathe program.

The course instructors were Sammy Barasa and Geoffrey Mwai, HBB training leaders in Kenya. Together, they have trained over 500 Kenyan health workers in HBB. Dr. Sherri Bucher, a certified international Master Trainer and Mentor for HBB on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics, was in attendance as well. We were fortunate to have an incredible training opportunity by such an experienced team. One trainee said, “It was an honor to be invited to this training. I am so grateful.”

At the end of the course, new master trainers are expected to submit a plan for continued training in their communities. In line with Jacaranda’s history of collaboration with public facilities in our County, our HBB trainings and refreshers will be in partnership with nurses at public facilities. All new Jacaranda Health hires will be trained in HBB and “low dose, high frequency” refresher training, integrated with birth observations, will be routinely implemented. We will also conduct refresher trainings biannually as part of our Continuing Medical Education (CME) program. With the momentum from the master trainer course, we are energized to implement HBB in a way that will drive improvements in the care of neonates born in Kiambu County.

For more information about Helping Babies Breathe: