Improving Newborn Resuscitation Outcomes through the Establishment of Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) Skills Labs at Pope John Paul’s Hospital Aber (PJPHA) in Oyam District, Mid-Northern Uganda

Birth asphyxia is a major cause of neonatal mortality in Uganda and similarly at Pope John Paul’s Hospital Aber (PJPHA). At PJHPA, during baseline assessment, 0% of the babies born with birth asphyxia were successfully resuscitated (discharged alive) in November 2015 and the pre-discharge neonatal mortality rate was high at 26.9/1,000 live births. A quality improvement (QI) team in the hospital identified gaps and tested several changes to reduce neonatal deaths due to birth asphyxia. Successful neonatal resuscitation improved from 0% in November 2015 to 80% in February 2016 and correspondingly, pre-discharge NMR reduced from 26.9/1,000 live births to 11.0/1,000 live births. The improvement was due to: 1) establishment of HBB skills lab to continuously improve the neonatal resuscitation knowledge and skills among care providers 2) Assignment of a focal person and the posting of reminders to maintain emergency preparedness for timely initiation of neonatal resuscitation.

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