New 'Helping Babies Breathe' Partnership Established

Jun 18, 2010, 15:49 ET from U.S. Agency for International Development

USAID Partners with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Laerdal Medical AS and others to help reduce infant mortality in the developing world

WASHINGTON, June 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a Memorandum of Understanding this week with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Laerdal Medical AS, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and Save the Children.  The objective of this Global Development Alliance (GDA) is to reduce newborn mortality by expanding access to high-quality, affordable newborn resuscitation training materials and devices, improving the competence of birth attendants to resuscitate newborns, strengthening health systems and promoting global commitment and resources for life-saving newborn care.  



"Every year, 10 million babies need resuscitation at birth; this partnership will help us scale up this life-saving intervention to achieve impact," said USAID Director for Health, Nutrition, and Infectious Diseases Richard Greene.  The GDA fits in directly with President Obama's Global Health Initiative's emphasis on maternal, newborn and child health, achieving significant health improvements through expansion of proven life-saving interventions, collaborating for impact with not just governments and development partners but also with the private sector, and an emphasis on innovation and promising new approaches to achieve results. "This GDA is unique in that it brings together a diverse group of organizations to respond to multi-faceted program needs that include training materials, equipment, systems strengthening, evaluation, and advocacy for increased national commitment and resources," explains Lily Kak, USAID's Senior Newborn Health Advisor.  Kak also emphasized that the founding group of partners would welcome partnership and collaboration with any organization that helps achieve the objective of reducing newborn mortality due to asphyxia. 

Each member of the partnership will play a unique and complementary role that, together, will leverage their resources, creativity, and expertise to scale up newborn resuscitation globally. NICHD will support evaluation; AAP will help improve the skills of health providers and will provide royalty-free licensing to all partners of the Alliance to scale up their new evidence-based training curriculum "Helping Babies Breathe;" Laerdal will provide high quality, affordable resuscitation devices on a not-for-profit basis and will also improve resuscitation skills of health providers; and Save the Children will provide global technical leadership.  USAID will provide global technical leadership, strengthen systems, develop a community of practice, and support the rollout of newborn resuscitation through its implementing partners - Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP), Health Care Improvement (HCI), HealthTech, the CORE Group, and other programs at the country level.

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The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years.

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SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development