HBB successfully launched in Ethiopia September 17-21, 2010

Helping Babies Breathe® (HBB) Ethiopia was successfully launched September 17-21, 2010 with training of 170 national master trainers in 7 different regions of the country. The launch was coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and UNICEF.  The faculty included 8 Ethiopians and 9 representatives from the Global Implementation Task Force from Kenya, Tanzania, Norway and USA.

Main observations

  • 7 courses run in 7 different regions of the country over a 5 day period had been perceived as very ambitious by foreign faculty participants, and did represent several logistical challenges. However, overall this worked out quite efficiently, and helped facilitate regional buy-in, and reduced overall costs of travelling and accommodation.  In future efforts, physical strain on trainers might be reduced by scheduling them for consecutive trainings in contiguous regions.
  • Mix of faculty worked very well. Faculty harmonization was secured through a pre-course for additional local faculty members 2 days before the first t-o-t course, briefing before first course dates, and debriefing after both rounds of courses.
  • There were many questions about the relevance of referral in Ethiopia (with 90 % + home deliveries currently, and very long transport times to referral hospitals).
  • Very few participants appeared to have problems with the course being delivered in English. On some occasions local faculty members would reinforce points or facilitate Q&A in Amharic.
  • Disassembling and reassembling the resuscitator turned out to be one of the most challenging exercises. This led to discussions on “impracticality” of cleaning before each use.  Infection prevention needs to be standardized throughout the country – FMoH to develop recommendations.

National Implementation Plan

  • The facilitator materials (flip charts, posters and NeoNatalie kits) to be distributed to all course participants as soon as cleared by Customs, hopefully within the next 2 -4 weeks.
  • FMoH is establishing a national implementation plan. It will be particularly important to secure integration with other MDG 4 and 5 initiatives, as well as co-ownership to the plan from the Regional Health Bureaus.
  • Two groups to be trained: Health workers, mainly in Health Centers (up to 5,000) and Health Extention Workers (HEWs) (20,000 of 30,000). The intention is to start with the health workers, which may use the learning materials as they are – albeit with some required clarification from the FMoH on adjustments to current practice and information on referrals and decontamination of equipment. Training of HEWs expected to follow some months thereafter, when local translations (at least to Amharic) are available.
  • FMoH (with support from UNICEF) plans to employ a full time well qualified person in the next 12 months to quality assure the training.
  • FMoH (with support from UNICEF) has placed orders for large quantities of resuscitators and bulb suctions, and these will be made available to all trainees in their respective clinical settings.