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Sunday, April 13, 2014


Here's some of the training that Mercy Ships has been involved with whilst we've been away:

Neonatal Resuscitation Training

In January, Krissy Close (USA), our Hospital Projects Manager, received a request from Dr. Malonga, the Chief of Neonatology at Adolphe SICÉ General Hospital. His department’s neonatal resuscitation techniques were outdated and proving ineffectual in saving the lives of newborn infants in crisis, and he knew Mercy Ships could help. 
Fortunately, Hannah Giboney (USA), a volunteer nurse who has both the education and years of practice necessary to offer such a class, stepped up to the plate. Hannah recruited Lizzie Chitty (UK) and Hannah Wysong (USA) to help her conduct this class during their off-shift hours. She also pooled her resources together to receive several crucial donations, most importantly the Helping Babies Breathe kits, from Laerdal: “These kits consist of a brilliantly designed, life-like infant doll as well as breathing masks, stethoscopes, and mock syringes,” explains Hannah G. “The dolls are filled with water to give them weight. A pump is attached to make it seem like the baby is breathing and to give the baby a ‘pulse’ that can be checked through the umbilical cord or by stethoscope. A chest compression will result in a click if it placed correctly. This doll is an amazing tool for practice.”
 The team planned a two-day class consisting of a lengthy lecture, in-depth homework, and the putting material into practice with the Laerdal dolls. They encouraged the Congolese midwives to use the principles they had learned to react to real-time variables that they would throw into the scenarios. It was encouraging to see the students begin to move with confidence and practice by the end of the class. “My hope is that the outcome on babies born here becomes much, much better,” says Hannah, “if they can remember the basic principles from this course, it will make a huge difference in lives saved.” Lives will be saved, families will be grateful, new mothers will leave the ward with smiles on their faces… it is incredible what can be accomplished in one’s spare time!
 It makes watching a movie pale in comparison…

OR Sterilization Training

OR Sterilization Trainer Christina Fast (CAN) has been hard at work in the local hospitals in Congo, providing valuable resources to OR Sterilizers. Through classroom and hands-on training, she decreases the risk of infection after surgical procedures and builds capacity in Congo’s healthcare system.
“It’s encouraging to see that they are implementing the things we have taught them in class,” Christina says.
At home in Canada, Christina runs a non-profit called Sterile Processing Education Charitable Trust (www.spectrust.org). 

Leadership Training

Mercy Ships goes beyond just providing free surgeries in the Republic of Congo – this week Mercy Ships crew members, in collaboration with Chris Ampadu of Samaritan Strategies, hosted a leadership conference for over 400 community leaders from the Dolisie region. Chris Ampadu spoke on community assessment, foundations of a community, poverty, how to be agents of change, and on seed projects.  

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