Nurse-Midwife Godfrey Dzuwa, of Santhe Health Center in Malawi, says the birth of baby Praise stands out in his mind.
Praise’s mother described the difficult birth: “My baby did not cry or move. I was very worried. I was told that babies cry as soon as they’re born.”
Godfrey worked quickly to resuscitate the baby. He thoroughly dried the baby, cleared his mouth and nostrils with a penguin sucker, and used a bag and mask to ventilate him and stimulate his breathing.
“Baby Praise started breathing after about five minutes of resuscitation. I was happy that he wasn’t like most asphyxiated babies, who end up dying,” Godfrey reflected.
Asphyxia is one of the main causes of newborn deaths in Malawi. In the health facilities in the 15 districts where the “Helping Babies Breathe” (HBB) initiative was implemented, successful resuscitation of asphyxiated babies increased from 33 percent to 93 percent over an 11-month period.
Godfrey gained the skills needed to save babies in distress like Praise by participating in a Jhpiego-supported training through the HBB initiative, which teaches health workers the essential skills of newborn resuscitation. “I became confident in handling newborns with birth asphyxia,” Godfrey said. He has successfully resuscitated several babies at his health center.
Relieved at the sound of her son crying, his mother said, “I decided to name him Praise. I give thanks that he was brought back.”