HealthThe Stethoscope

The baby is not breathing

It’s a boy!
It’s a girl!
It’s not…
It’s not breathing!

Nothing shakes the earth more than the sudden realization that a new born baby is not breathing. That the new baby has not taken a breath as it comes out of the womb, often marks the beginning of a mad panic. It could spell danger for the baby and real heart ache for the mother. So, what you do in the immediate minutes could determine one of three things.

The baby is dead
The baby is alive but …
The baby is alive and well

Alive but
The pregnancy was uneventful, and all was perfect till the time of delivery. The baby came out blue in the face, asking for a breath. Traditionally, a smack or two will elicit a shrill cry from the baby and all will be well. This time, the baby remained silent, mute, eyes closed and unconcerned. The birth attendant smacks the baby in the bottom till she left a print. If nothing was done as a matter of urgency, the baby has a high chance of dying or becoming brain injured.

The baby, alive but brain injured spells disaster for parents and relatives. Babies with brain injury due to oxygen deprivation develop cerebral palsy and often do not achieve their full potential.

This baby is alive but….
Has a damaged brain
Has seizures
Slow to walk

Born to die
About 29, 000 children under the age of five –21 deaths each minute—die every day, mainly from preventable causes. One of those preventable causes is lack of oxygen at birth called birth asphyxia. A 2008 bulletin from the World Health Organization estimates that 900,000 total infants die each year from birth asphyxia, making it a leading cause of death for newborns. Imagine this: It’s like two Jumbo aircrafts crashing daily in Nigeria!

Many of these deaths can be prevented.
And this is where you come in.
Yes, you!
You can help!

Help babies breath.

Help baby breath training session.(

ANPA Maternal Child Health Committee is focused on implementation of Helping Babies Breath program (ANP HBB). Helping Babies Breath (HBB) is a low-cost, global initiative that seeks to reduce deaths due to birth asphyxia and other respiratory complications that could occur at birth. These life-saving techniques include infant stimulation, suction of the nose and mouth when appropriate, and the use of a bag-valve-mask to improve breathing and to circulate oxygen.

HBB is the first module in the Helping Babies Survive (HBS) suite of evidence-based educational programs by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Studies indicate HBB can reduce neonatal mortality on the first day by up to 47%. Got it!

Who the heck is ANPA?
ANPA is the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas. In other words, an association of medical or health practitioners working in America. ANPA has a mission called “Healthier Nigeria, Healthier World “and this program to help babies breath falls in line with that overall mission.

HBB teaches the skills of caring for healthy babies and assisting babies that do not breathe on their own after birth. The HBB technique is very effective, especially if it becomes a standard way of managing all newborn babies. It has now been introduced in over 80 countries with 450,000 birth attendants trained and equipped.

Studies show that a single session of HBB training makes little or no difference to the care provided or to the rate of infant death. To see an impact on reduction of deaths during the birthing process, delivery care providers must be trained and exposed to the material repeatedly over long periods of time. This approach is termed the High Frequency Low Dose method.

Through this method, delivery care providers are exposed to HBB through an initial one-day training, followed by daily practice sessions at their health care facilities. Additionally, the trainees receive refresher workshops and are frequently retested on their skills.

So what?
We would like to teach HBB in all communities leaving a local foot print that has long reaching effect, evidence based, and demonstrated to be effective in similar settings. We also need local champions to continue to teach and monitor birth attendants in the local area for sustainability of the HBB technique.

Babies would live
Brain injuries are prevented
That way lives are saved
A healthier Nigeria results

When all is well with a new born baby. (Img.Zululand)

Would you join us?
ANPA HBB would like to spread the skills-based training to health facilities, institutions, community centers and health workers to increase the knowledge aptitude and ability of persons involved in case of newborns to help save lives with a smart goal to train 1000 providers by 2021. We are looking for local champions including doctors, nurses, midwives and all birth attendants to come for the training.

Action stations please

Go to:

and register for the training.
This is in Abuja in April during the ANPA medical mission to Nigeria.
By the way, it’s free. Food and drinks will also be provided!

It’s a boy!
It’s a girl!
It’s breathing fine!

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