The Golden Minute, Tanzania
In the summer of 2014, five professors and 18 students from Algonquin College’s nursing faculty worked with CPAR Tanzania’s Maternal & Child Health staff to deliver a program in two hospitals and five health centres in the Bunda District of Tanzania.
Participants included members of six different disciplines at Algonquin College: Registered practical nursing, Bachelor of Science in nursing, paramedics, child and youth worker, early childhood education and dental health. The group was split into two streams, each focused on a millennium goal of the World Health Organization: maternal health and child health.
The objective of the project was to train birth attendants in the essential skills of newborn resuscitation, with the aim of having at least one person skilled in neonatal resuscitation at the birth of every baby. The project was designed to enable local providers to both care for patients and have the knowledge and equipment to train additional birth attendants.
A key concept in the training pertained to what’s known as “The Golden Minute”. This is a practice that ensures that within one minute of birth, a baby should be breathing well or should be ventilated with a bag and mask. The Golden Minute identifies the steps that a birth attendant must take immediately after birth to evaluate the baby and stimulate breathing.
The HBB training package that the Algonquin team provided included pictorial-based learning materials including a Learner Workbook, Action Plan wall poster and Facilitator Flip Chart, all in Swahili. The training equipment includes a very realistic newborn simulator with the ability to imitate an umbilical pulse to monitor the baby’s heart rate. The practical equipment, which was provided to health facilities throughout Bunda District, is a simple and durable bulb suction and bag-mask ventilator that can be cleaned by boiling.
Algonquin College has worked with CPAR on several projects, including “Small World Big Picture.”