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Assessing the capacity for newborn resuscitation and factors associated with providers' knowledge and skills: a cross sectional study in Afghanistan

Journal Article
(Published December, 2013)
Kim, Y.M. (Author),
Ansari, N. (Author),
Kols, A. (Author),
Tappis, H. (Author),
Currie, S. (Author),
Zainullah, P. (Author),
Bailey, P. (Author),
Semba, R. (Author)
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This study assessed the capacity to perform newborn resuscitation with bag and mask is a high-impact intervention at facilities offering comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC) in Afghanistan, as well as individual and facility characteristics associated with providers’ knowledge and clinical skills. Assessors interviewed 82 doctors and 142 midwives at 78 facilities on their knowledge of newborn resuscitation and observed them perform the procedure on an anatomical model. Supplies, equipment, and infrastructure were assessed at each facility. Descriptive statistics and simple and multivariate regression analyses were performed using STATA 11.2 and SAS 9.1.3.

Results: Over 90% of facilities had essential equipment for newborn resuscitation, including a mucus extractor, bag, and mask. More than 80% of providers had been trained on newborn resuscitation, but midwives were more likely than doctors to receive such training as part of pre-service education (59% and 35%, respectively, p < 0.001). No significant differences were found between doctors and midwives on knowledge, clinical skills, or confidence in performing newborn resuscitation. Doctors and midwives scored 71% and 66%, respectively, on knowledge questions and 66% and 71% on the skills assessment; 75% of doctors and 83% of midwives felt very confident in their ability to perform newborn resuscitation. Training was associated with greater knowledge (p < 0.001) and clinical skills (p < 0.05) in a multivariable model that adjusted for facility type, provider type, and years of experience offering EmONC services.

Conclusions: Lack of equipment and training do not pose major barriers to newborn resuscitation in Afghanistan, but providers’ knowledge and skills need strengthening in some areas. Midwives proved to be as capable as doctors of performing newborn resuscitation, which validates the major investment made in midwifery education.  Competency-based pre-service and in-service training, complemented by supportive supervision, is an effective way to build providers’ capacity to perform newborn resuscitation. This kind of training could also help skilled birth attendants based in the community, at private clinics, or at primary care facilities save the lives of newborns

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BMC Pediatrics is OPEN ACCESS - this is a highly accessed article!

Citation: 
Kim, Young Mi; Nasratullah Ansari; Adrienne Kols; Sheena Currie; Partamin Zainullah;. Assessing capacity for newborn resuscitation and factors associated with providers’ knowledge and skills: : a cross-sectional study in Afghanistan BMC pediatrics. 2013,13:140