Africa’s average child mortality’s about 70 per 1,000, and sits in a very wide range of about 35 to 160 per 1,000. It’s a high priority of healthcare interventions. Helping Babies Breath (HBB) teaches neonatal resuscitation techniques for health workers in low resource locations in over 80 countries. It includes skills needed to follow the The Golden Minute steps. The first minute after birth poses a significant risk of death to newborns. Within this minute, babies should either be breathing well or should be ventilated with a bag and mask. The Golden Minute identifies the steps that birth attendants must take immediately after births to evaluate babies and stimulate their breathing.
HBB’s a global initiative of many organisations. They include the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), WHO, USAID, Saving Newborn Lives, the National Institute of Child Health and Development.
Its paper data collection methods aren’t efficient enough to monitor, evaluate and report key indicators. Finance from the Laerdal Foundation for Acute Medicine2 enabled a team from the USA’s Indiana and Kenya’s Mo i University Schools of Medicine to develop mHBB, an mHealth solution.
mHBB captures proposed key indicators and metrics of the Every Newborn Action Plan, and initiative of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH). Four parts of the current initiative are:
- Desk review, stakeholder survey, and contextual analysis to identify partners and scale-up opportunities
- Iterative developments and improvements of data collection forms and processes to enhance integration of additional data fields that support links with the Every Newborn Action Plan
- Expanding mHBB’s platform to include integrated support for more essential functions such as links to video content and links to data collection for Survive and Thrive programmes, including Essential Care for Every Baby, Essential Care for Small Babies, and Helping Mothers Survive
- Usability and feasibility assessments at selected East African sites.
mHBB was included as a linked ASH USAID mHealth case study for the Kenya Digital Health
Dashboard developed by HealthEnabled. HBB’s developing collaborative opportunities with a wide range of potential partners, including iHRIS, the open source health workforce information solution, DHIS2 from HISP, Comm Care and Open HIE.