Louis Pollack, MD
Louis Pollack, MD
Neonat/Perinatology · Washington, DC

Maternal-Newborn Quality Improvement Program

November 28th
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Project Description

Wax and Gold is a non-profit organization of global newborn health specialists committed to developing sustainable programs that respect, nurture, and honor women and children and their fundamental right to essential healthcare and education. I will be participating as a volunteer physician working developing and implementing an newborn nursing advanced life support program resulting in in-house availability of skilled providers immediately available to attend every delivery and provide necessary newborn stabilization and resuscitation. To date, no such service or program exists in Ethiopia.

Population Served

St Paul Hospital Millennium Medical College (SPHMMC) is the designated regional referral hospital in northwest Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, serving a catchment area of 26 district hospitals, 57 health centers, and 2 million predominately marginalized underserved people. It represents the largest inpatient obstetric service (12,000 annual deliveries) in the country, and has been identified by the Federal Ministry of Health as one of two national centers of excellence for maternal child health.

Expected Impact

We expect to be able to dramatically decrease the current prevalence of hypothermia and asphyxia, two of the leading causes of neonatal deaths, and at the very least significantly improve the immediate outcome of newborns delivered at SPHMMC. Preliminary outcome data has been very promising, and the Federal Ministry of Health has expressed interest in customizing the program's curriculum to take to all levels of skilled facilities in the country.

Trip Photos & Recap

Fifteen newly-recruited nurses to the NICU underwent a four day first ever formal basic bedside skills assessment. In addition, a curriculum was developed and designed to provide a follow up sixteen week standardized orientation for all NICU nurses.
Ten nurses representing the Neonatal Advanced Life Support team participated in the continuous quality improvement projects evaluating policies and procedures concerning stabilization and resuscitation of newborns in the Labor & Delivery Unit.
Twelve anesthesiology resident physicians participated in didactic presentations and 'hand on' practicum in current guidelines and recommendations for neonatal resuscitation.
Meetings were held with senior officials at Federal Ministeries of Health and Science and Technology to discuss strategic planning and equipment development.