Sep 26, 2015 News
With the expectation that they will be in a position to help save the lives of newborn babies, local nurses were recently exposed to crucial training. The training was facilitated by medical experts attached to the not for profit United States based Bridges Medical Mission which is headed by Guyana born Dr. Claudette Heyligar-Thomas.
Dr. Heyligar-Thomas has been practicing medicine for the past few decades in the United States, but has been rendering assistance to her homeland through her organization since 2008.
The recent training therefore, represented a strategic collaboration between Bridges and the Ministry of Health to offer the ‘Helping Babies Breathe’ programme.
The ‘Helping Babies Breathe’ programme is one created by the American Academy of Paediatrics and the World Health Organisation (WHO). “They have combined forces to help diminish and minimize the neonatal mortality, specifically in countries with limited resources,” said Dr. Yanick Vibert, a member of the team which recently wrapped up a visit here.
She, during an interview with this publication, explained that, “What the programme does is train midwives, birth attendants or people who have access to births to be able to recognize when babies have respiratory distress or don’t take that initial first breath to maximize what we call the golden minute to help them to be able to breathe.”
Dr. Vibert, who is a Master Trainer for the ‘Helping Babies Breathe’ model, said that while the visiting team helped in other areas of the delivery of health care at a number of public health facilities earlier this week, helping babies to survive was a main focus.
The ‘Helping Babies Breathe’ programme is a train the trainers model, which according to Dr. Vibert, is designed to train health workers with the expectation that they will in turn, train other health workers thereby expanding the delivery of quality services.
The tactics that were shared with the local nurses, according to Dr. Vibert, will help to minimize the death of babies in the first 24 hours of life.
While there is need for improvement, she nevertheless commended the efforts already being employed by the local nurses. “I see that they are doing the best that they can…The nurses who came and trained in the programme are definitely experienced and very creative. If supplies weren’t necessarily available they were very creative about making up other supplies for themselves,” observed Dr. Vibert.
“You have to sometimes be able to think outside of the box to provide the care that needs to be had as opposed to waiting for a certain brand or a certain material to make itself present…Creativity is key but taking care to not compromise care is also important.
“The nurses are creative in how they deliver care and for that I have to commend nursing here,” said the Master trainer.
Among those who helped to train the nurses was Emilee Flynn, who is currently undergoing post graduate training.
A number of nurses from outlying areas and also from Georgetown completed the training on Thursday that will help them to take action to tackle challenges that could give rise to neonatal mortality.
Each of the participating nurses received certificates of completion.
The visiting team consisted of about 25 medical experts who were able to render their expert support in a number of other areas including paediatrics, neurology, general medicine and cardiology.
Cardiologist Dr. Donald Wallerson was also a part of the visiting team. On Thursday he was engrossed with screening a number of patients with heart related complaints. He too is a Guyanese who has been involved in the work of the Bridges organization for many years.
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