Project Lead(s): Luis Huicho
Neonatal mortality rates in Peru have decreased dramatically in the last two decades. However, inequitable differences in neonatal mortality continue to persist between high and low-income communities.
Neonatal Asphyxia is particularly troubling in Peru, accounting for more than 20% of neonatal deaths in the country. Though institutional deliveries have increased, management of newborns with asphyxia has been suboptimal due to a lack of trained health personnel who can provide neonatal resuscitation.
The project aimed to analyze methods of training health workers in urban and rural areas to provide neonatal resuscitation.
Through a cluster randomized trial, one group of health workers was provided with face-to-face theory and practice sessions, while the other group received a non-traditional training approach through distance education using information and communication technology.
Non-traditional training included self-learning strategies such as videos and, to the innovator’s knowledge, the first virtual reality 360 video related to neonatal resuscitation. The distance education group then received in-person face-to-face training upon completion of their non-traditional teaching sessions.
The study measured the ability of health workers within both groups to resuscitate newborns by measuring the proportion of newborns with a heart rate of 100 beats per minute or higher at 2 minutes after birth.
A preliminary analysis found no significant results between the performance of health workers in traditional and non-traditional groups.
The group who received traditional training achieved almost 2% better results compared to the non-traditional group; however, these differences are minimal and not indicative of significance.
These results also indicated that traditional learning methods did not exceed the advantages of training health personnel though distance theoretical examination and training.
The organization hopes to continue to improve neonatal resuscitation training through distance education by including teleconferences with experts and further additions to theory lessons and examination.