Neonatal Resuscitation Course Trains 11 Pediatric & Maternity Physicians and Residents

Konbit Sante volunteer Dr. Vic Herson working with pediatrician Dr. Muscadin ( who recently received training at Maine
Medical Center), and maternity and pediatric residentts at the JUH.


Neonates make up 60% of deaths in the pediatric department at the second largest public hospital in Haiti, although they constitute only 42% of all pediatric admissions.  Konbit Sante is actively focusing on reducing the number of those deaths, and more effective neonatal resuscitation can mean the life and death difference for nearly 25% of the babies that are currently not surviving childbirth.

Consistent with Konbit Sante’s approach of strengthening the capacity of Haitian health professionals and institutions to provide quality care and meet the health needs of their communities, Konbit Sante volunteers recently conducted a course on neonatal resuscitation using the train-the-trainer model that creates a pool of competent local instructors who can then teach the material to other providers.  The course offered participants opportunities to engage in a lot of hands-on practice.   Instead of relying on outsiders to teach the course, Northern Haiti now has 11 new instructors to teach neonatal resuscitation.  

The instructor course was followed by two days of provider training facilitated by the physicians who completed the instructor course. The volunteers were on-hand to give feedback and support to the new instructors as they conducted the training. 

 “We were really impressed with the enthusiasm of the physicians who came for the neonatal instruction training.  They were serious, professional, and very enthusiastic about having the opportunity to receive this training," stated Dr. Adam Silverman, a Konbit Sante volunteer and pediatrician at Connecticut Children’s Hospital.  “Having the ability to observe and provide feedback while they gave a neonatal training to other providers really helped to solidify our understanding of how the project can move forward, and to help further increase their teaching skills on the topic."

At the end of the week, the new instructors created a training schedule focusing on nurses and physicians at JUH who they believe will benefit from this training.  Since November, at least two additional trainings have already been conducted, with more to come in the coming month.  Once they complete the trainings at the Justinian University Hospital (JUH), the new instructors intend to take the course to other facilities in the North of Haiti.

Dr. Paul Toussaint, Attending Pediatrician at JUH and Medical Director HCBH, attended the instructor course.  “Neonatology is new in Haiti. The train-the-trainer approach is useful and important because it allows us to spread this knowledge and set of skills; it allows us to continue the training after the volunteers leave. Helping local people to help others in their country is an important part of international aid that does not occur often.”

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