Helping Babies Survive: Lessons Learned From Global Trainers

Pediatrics. 2020 Oct;146(Suppl 2):S134-S144. doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-016915F.


Background: The Helping Babies Survive (HBS) suite of programs was launched in 2010 as an evidence-based educational package to train health care workers in low- and middle-income countries in neonatal resuscitation, immediate newborn care, and complications of prematurity. To date, there has been no purposeful examination of lessons learned from HBS trainers. Our intent with this study is to gather that data from the field.

Methods: To estimate the total global reach of the HBS program, we obtained equipment distribution data from Laerdal and HBS material download data from the HBS Web site as of March 2020. To understand the lessons learned from HBS trainers, we examined comments from trainers who recorded their trainings on the HBS Web site, and other first-hand accounts.

Results: More than 1 million pieces of equipment (simulators, flip charts, provider guides, and action plans) have been distributed worldwide. HBS materials have been downloaded from the Web site >130 000 times and have now been translated into 27 languages. HBS equipment and training has reached an estimated 850 000 providers in 158 countries. Qualitative analysis revealed 3 major themes critical to building successful and sustainable HBS programs: support, planning and local context, and subthemes for each.

Conclusions: Lessons learned from experienced trainers represent a vital distillation of first-hand experience into widely applicable knowledge to be used to reduce potential failures and achieve desired outcomes. Findings from this study offer further guidance on best practices for implementing and sustaining HBS programs and provide insight into challenges and successes experienced by HBS trainers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asphyxia Neonatorum / therapy*
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Resuscitation / education*