Sustainable Learning

10 Steps to Sustainable Learning

In 2000:

  • Two million newborn babies died on the first day of life

  • Two million more died within the first 28 days

  • 98% of these deaths took place in the developing world

  • A quarter of those were due to trouble with breathing

The work of NICHE International addresses the need for midwives and doctors to be fully trained in the necessary skills for resuscitation of babies in the first few hours. We also address what happens next: recognising sick infants and knowing what to do and how to do it.

The Newborn Care Course we teach is the best way of teaching front line health professionals in low or medium resource settings.

Training must be self-sustaining: flying in well-meaning professionals from resource rich countries once or twice a year as providers of resuscitation training is neither sustainable in the long term, nor in our view, respectful of the local clinicians who have a wealth of experience of working with unwell babies and children superior to that of the average UK health professional.  Our 10 step route to NCC training self-sufficiency provides a timeline from the first training course delivered in a country (step 1) to the moment when NICHE International can withdraw its UK instructors, leaving a fully functioning local faculty able to run their own Newborn Care Course (step 8) and their own instructor development courses (step 10).  The steps do not equal visits from UK instructors since there can be more than one step per visit and visits do not equal years since there can be more than one visit per year.  Even so, the commitment of NICHE International to a country will in reality be for between 5 and 8 years.

Instructor development is based on the rigorous programme all the UK instructors will have followed from the Advanced Life Support Group and/or the UK Resus Council (see

Workshop on intravenous antibiotics: prescribing and preparing

Instructors must have enough experience of teaching on their provider course (NCC) before moving on to learn how to train other instructors (GIC).  A course director has a considerable amount of experience of teaching on the provider course they are directing and the GIC educator will be a graduate in adult or healthcare education with at least two years’ experience of teaching in higher education and will hold a relevant post-graduate qualification in adult education.  Getting a local faculty trained up to these levels is no mean feat but, once achieved, will allow what we at NICHE International term “sustainable learning”.