There were 3.1 million neonatal deaths in 2010. The majority of these deaths occur in the developing world, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. Although the under five-child mortality rate in Ethiopia from has improved from 204 to 68 per 1000 in 2012 (156th worldwide) the neonatal mortality rate has been slow to improve. The neonatal mortality rate for Tigray region is high at 44 per 1000 compared to the national rate of 29 per 1000 (168th worldwide). The commonest causes of neonatal death are sepsis, birth asphyxia, and prematurity. Improvement in knowledge and skills associated with newborn care, early identification of problems and improvement in newborn resuscitation skills can improve outcomes.
Aim Develop a two-day training course for local hospital staff at a district hospital in the Northern Tigray region of Ethiopia on newborn resuscitation and essential newborn care and then train hospital staff.
Method A two-day training course was developed using country and regional guidelines and resuscitation standards. Teaching was delivered through lectures, small group work, skills teaching, and scenario practice. The course was delivered to four times in total to 83 hospital staff (doctors, nurses, clinical officers and midwives) overall. Pre and post course written tests and a post course practical test in newborn resuscitation were undertaking by all candidates.
Results There was a significant improvement between pre course and post course written test scores with a pre course average of 53.2% and a post course average of 66.4% (p < 0.001). The post course practical test score average was 5.5 out of 6. Candidates provided positive feedback on the course.
Conclusion Training in newborn resuscitation and care is essential as part of improving neonatal morbidity and mortality. Local training programmes for hospital staff can improve knowledge and skills, which are then used in routine practice. It is important that these are accessible to all staff through using local languages to teach and training local staff as course faculty.
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