Many health centers in Burundi lack the appropriate equipment to help resuscitate newborn babies. LifeNet International made the equipment available and trained health professionals on its use.-By Yves Didier Irakoze
The first minute after a baby is born is known as the ‘Golden Minute’, which provides the best chance of saving the life of a newborn baby struggling to breathe. Ten percent of newborns need help to start breathing. Learning how to do so is a very rewarding aspect of a health professional’s skill set.
Justin Bisimwa, Supervisor of activities in Kayogoro Health Center II in southern Burundireceived resuscitation training from LifeNet and immediately saw results. The day after the training a baby’s life was saved.
“Last month, we also saved a woman from post partum hemorrhage. Before the training, we often transferred patients from the Health Center to the hospital because we couldn’t administer emergency first aid. People would die on the way to the hospital”, Bisimwaindicates.
Dr Aristide Mbonihankuye, a Medical Program Manager at LifeNet International mentions that they provide an elaborate program of medical training. This program is based on five modules: basic concepts (the prevention of infections, the contamination of the medical equipments, etc), newborn care and childbirth, child diseases, chronic illnesses and hygiene.
Justin Bisimwa affirms that the training helped them to work more effectively. “We now know how to arrange drugs, how to ensure good hygiene and a clean office, how to manage the medicines we use and not to empty the stock, how to care and how to welcome our patients. We know how to reanimate newborn babies by using new techniques and the ‘baby ambus’ ventilator”, he boasts. The ventilator helps move breathable air in and out of the longs.
“We work in partnership with Health Centers in 15 provinces of Burundi to improve and reinforce their capacities to improve quality of care”, ElinHenrysson, Business Director at LifeNet Internationalpoints out.
She goes on saying that there are two teams: A team of nurse trainers and a team of management trainers. The two team deal with how to manage human resources, finance, logistic, pharmacy and how to care for patients.
LifeNet International works in Burundi since 2011.