From April 29th to May 3rd, at the Erbil Maternity Hospital, PHCPI conducted a 5-day ToT workshop for 13 newborn care specialists from various provinces throughout Iraq. The workshop was led by two PHCPI technical consultants and three co-facilitators from the Ministry of Health. Participants included nurse educators from College of Nursing, as well as physicians trained in pediatrics and family and community medicine. The training involved lectures and discussions, clinical simulation, group work, case scenarios, and classroom demonstration of clinical skills on anatomical models by facilitators and re-demonstration by participants.
The training in classroom was followed by 3-hours of supervised “on-call” practice in labor and delivery rooms. Thus, participants had an opportunity to apply newly-learned best clinical practice in actual patient settings. This exercise reinforced the value of these best practices, which included newborn resuscitation using Helping Babies Breathe, essentials of newborn care (immediate breastfeeding, thermal care, eye and cord care), active management of third stage of labor and immediate skin to skin contact of the baby with the mother. All the participants became certified in the new technique of Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) and represent only the second cohort in Iraq to be certified in this technique. The co-facilitators from the MoH, in collaboration with PHCPI, are working to ensure that other life-saving techniques, such as prophylactic eye care and Vitamin K administration to all newborns, also become part of the standard of care throughout Iraq.