atlas Embarks upon mutually beneficial projects between western and Ugandan partnerS
Teaching Newborn Resuscitation skills
According to the WHO, neonatal mortality is quickly becoming the highest proportion of deaths in under 5 years-old-old. Almost half of all deaths in young children occurred during the first month of life, and this is largely due to ineffective care immediately after birth.
Many babies will die a preventative death simply because they are not given basic life-support care in their first few minutes of life.
According to UNICEF and the World Bank, a baby born in Uganda is 4-9 times more likely to die in his first month of life than a baby born in the USA. To help address this problem, ATLAS provides neonatal resuscitation trainings and train-the-trainer sessions.
In 2013, we worked with clinicians Dr. Laura Houser and Dr. Georgia Ditzenberger from the University of Wisconsin to train doctors and clinicians at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital in the Neonatal Resuscitation Program, a program of advanced newborn resuscitation. We used the American Academy of Pediatrics' NRP for an under-resourced setting.
Laura and Georgia brought tons of supplies, including a mannequin that will enable the clinicians to practice their skills and teach the skills to others long into the future. This project is still ongoing at MRRH, and the trainers we trained back in 2013 have taught countless other health workers. More highly trained volunteers with our medical rotation program can participate in this project while in Uganda.
One of our goals is to formalise an adapted NRP for low-resource settings, a process we will begin in 2016.
HBB is a project developed by the AAP and WHO to teach basic newborn resuscitation skills to health workers in low-income, rural settings. It uses an innovative blow-up or fill-up doll, called NeoNatalie, which can be ventilated and treated like a real newborn. The program focuses on the Golden Minute, or the critical moment to help a baby breathe after birth.
ATLAS founder, Dr. Lisa, began teaching HBB in 2011 while working at a small clinic in the Manafwa district, and she became interested in the training of trainers concept. Since then, we have facilitated the training of several hundred health workers throughout the Bududa, Manafwa and Mbale districts.
ATLAS uses HBB as a frequent and sustainable project for participants in our medical rotation program. Volunteers regularly teach health workers at our partner sites, and those who we train to become trainers themselves go on to organize courses for their colleagues. In some of our partner sites, it is mandatory to take the course prior to beginning to work there. We're so proud of our participation in this fabulous program!
Click here to a read an article about previous volunteers from Stony Brook University Hospital participating in the HBB program. You can also click here to find out what it's like to participate in the class.
Clinic Health Outreaches
When larger teams arrange a medical rotation with ATLAS, we are able to provide pediatric outreach clinic days for our partners to target kids who may not have adequate access to healthcare. We perform checkups, distribute medications, and refer the kids to partner sites for vaccines.
While kids wait to be seen by clinicians, non-medical volunteers can provide basic health education to waiting children and their families. Depending on donations received, we often are able to pass out items like soap, toothbrushes, or toothpaste.
Partaking in research initiatives is crucial to stay connected and share information.
Since 2013, ATLAS has worked with partners in Uganda to create innovative solutions to healthcare problems in low-resource settings, and we share our projects and findings at academic meetings to spread the word.
Volunteers in our medical rotation program will have the chance to participate in ongoing research projects.
Umphrey L, DaSilva DF & Fisher L. Addressing Gaps in Healthcare Systems in Resource-Limited Settings: a Novel Healthcare Provision Model in Rural Eastern Uganda. International Pediatric Association Congress 2013, Melbourne Australia.
DaSilva DF, Fisher L & Umphrey L. A Survey of Rural Ugandan Health Facilities: Health Worker and Patient Surveys to Identify Discrepancies and Gaps in Healthcare Provision in Rural Eastern Uganda. International Pediatric Association Congress 2013, Melbourne Australia.
Fisher L, DaSilva DF & Umphrey L. A Survey of Rural Ugandan Health Facilities: Patient Surveys to Address Healthcare Provision Gaps in Rural Eastern Uganda. International Pediatric Association Congress 2013, Melbourne Australia.
Kaminsky M, Umphrey L, Manzi G, DaSilva DF, Thomas V, Simpson P & Coogle L. Back to the Basics: A Collaboration to Strengthen Physical Exam Skills in Uganda. Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting, 2014, Vancouver, Canada.
Umphrey L, Kaminsky M, Adefisayo A, Downs T, Eniasivam A, Erakat A, Heinen J, Kansiime V, Kingman M, Mohla R, Nugent M, Simpson P, St Clair N and Vitale D. Back to Basics 2: A Collaboration to Strengthen Pediatric Exam Skills. Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting, 2016, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
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