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Celebrating Tiny Voices of Praise :

August 18, 2016

I think that even the residents of Beijing would admit that their city is not the most pleasant place to visit during the summer.

I think thatFigure 1. One of four quadruplets saved thanks to the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) efforts in China. Ten years ago, birth asphyxia was the leading cause of neonatal death in China.  Click here or on the photo to enjoy a video summarizing 10 years of NRP progress in China. (Video produced by NRP partner Johnson & Johnson)Figure 1. One of four quadruplets saved thanks to the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) efforts in China. Ten years ago, birth asphyxia was the leading cause of neonatal death in China. Click here or on the photo to enjoy a video summarizing 10 years of NRP progress in China. (Video produced by NRP partner Johnson & Johnson) even the residents of Beijing would admit that their city is not the most pleasant place to visit during the summer. The humidity, smog, and heat combine to create an environment that can be intimidating for someone (myself) who has been spoiled for many years living in the mild Northern California climate. The crowds are even more immense than usual due to families on vacation visiting from across China. However, I truly had a wonderful experience this past July visiting Beijing for the 10-year anniversary of the Neonatal Resuscitation Program in China. The history of NRP’s implementation is reported in the August 2016 NeoReviewsInternational Perspectives” column. In fact, even though I did not do very much myself to warrant being there, I might consider it the highlight of my professional experiences so far to have participated in that meeting.

One interestingFigure 2. Wendy Simon, AAP Division of Life Support director, holds one of the giant “checks” that provincial “winners” received.Figure 2. Wendy Simon, AAP Division of Life Support director, holds one of the giant “checks” that provincial “winners” received. aspect of the meeting was the announcement of the leaders and teachers who represented the various provinces that had achieved certain milestones. The “winners” came up on stage to celebratory music and received giant checks, much as if they had just won the lottery. It was fun to watch the celebration with AAP representatives, including Dr. Jonathan Klein, AAP associate executive director, and Wendy Simon, director of AAP Life Support. It made me think of possible ways to make some changes to the NRP Seminar in order to make it more exciting.

A particular treat for me was to spend time with two giants of neonatal resuscitation and global health, Drs. Bill Keenan and Susan Niermeyer. It was interesting to hear their accounts of the pioneering efforts they had made in order to “spread the news” of NRFigure 3. NRP pioneers Drs. Susan Niermeyer, Bill Keenan, and Hongmao Ye. Dr. Ye is a China NRP expert and national leader.Figure 3. NRP pioneers Drs. Susan Niermeyer, Bill Keenan, and Hongmao Ye. Dr. Ye is a China NRP expert and national leader.P across China. It was partly in their experiences of implementation frontline that some of the key concepts of Helping Babies Breathe, such as the simplified pictorial teaching method, were conceived. Hearing their stories helped me to consider the perspective that, “…it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about.” (R. Buckminster Fuller)

I think that the success of NRP and Helping Babies Breathe across the world in many countries has been a very exciting and inspirational story in neonatology. This success is attributable to those who have paved the path by developing the educational materials, teachers, frontline providers, funders and policymakers that have supported these efforts. The meeting in Beijing was a wonderful time to celebrate all of those efforts with all of those stakeholders in China NRP and motivate everyone to continue this important work.
Figure 4. Wenfang Hu, 3rd from left, of Ningxia, China, and her family cuddle their full complement of quadruplets. With more than 250,000 trained providers, NRP now reaches more than 90% of birth facilities in China. Obstetrician Yulian Cao, an NRP National Trainer, calls the NRP training that began 10 years ago in China “the single spark that can start a prairie fire.” It is estimated that NRP has contributed to saving nearly 600,000 newborns there. Click here or on the photo to view the video celebrating the 10th anniversary of NRP in China. (Video produced by NRP partner Johnson & Johnson)Figure 4. Wenfang Hu, 3rd from left, of Ningxia, China, and her family cuddle their full complement of quadruplets. With more than 250,000 trained providers, NRP now reaches more than 90% of birth facilities in China. Obstetrician Yulian Cao, an NRP National Trainer, calls the NRP training that began 10 years ago in China “the single spark that can start a prairie fire.” It is estimated that NRP has contributed to saving nearly 600,000 newborns there. Click here or on the photo to view the video celebrating the 10th anniversary of NRP in China. (Video produced by NRP partner Johnson & Johnson)
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