Empowering local healthcare staff

Mme Ngome Vivian, recently trained NCC instructor, returned to her health facility and delivered training on the oxygen concentrator

The Neonatal Care Course is a short, stand alone course on the care of the newborn baby in the first 28 days of life but the ripple effects of the training are far-reaching. NICHE believes that training local instructors leads to this sort of – hopefully long lasting – empowerment. Many oxygen concentrators are abandoned or broken because they are poorly maintained or not fully understood. Here, Vivian is teaching staff at Nkoabang Baptist Health Centre how to look after this vital piece of equipment.

Nkoabang Baptist Health Centre, 15 miles outside of Yaoundé, Cameroon

The transcript below is Vivian’s WhatsApp message to Grace in Cameroon, delighted that a baby’s oxygen saturations came up so demonstrably after she had overhauled the concentrator and got it working again:

[5:00 pm, 25/05/2022] NDZE GRACE BONGBAN: Greetings to everyone in the house above is my first presentation on oxygen concentrator to the staff body in Nkoabang Baptist health center infact i really thank Ma Grace and Daddy Justin Fombe for the knowledge I have rescued a patient’s life today we had a patient whose saturation stood at 88 just from cleaning changing distilled water, positioning and ventilation saturation is now 91 dear colleagues let’s pass this knowledge to safe lives on another positive note i emphasized on the need for a projector and we bought one to facilitate teaching
[5:00 pm, 25/05/2022] NDZE GRACE BONGBAN: Also did a presentation to MCH Staff today on convulsion and there was a lot of learning
[5:00 pm, 25/05/2022] NDZE GRACE BONGBAN: We keep on putting our knowledge into practice and results will be visible

International Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) Awareness Day

Dr Alison Earley, 15th May 2022

Skin to skin care, also known as kangaroo mother care, is one of the key interventions suggested by the World Health Organisation to improve survival of babies.  It has so many advantages for new born babies, including preventing hypothermia, promoting breastfeeding, reducing infection and encouraging mother/baby bonding. The feature picture here is from Healthy Newborn Network (https://www.healthynewbornnetwork.org/) to remind us that KMC is an especially important intervention for babies who are born premature.

Although the advantages of skin to skin care have been recognised for many years, and in many countries, it is still not as widely practised as it could be. Including in the UK.

NICHE International emphasises this skill as part of the Neonatal Care Course which we are teaching. It saves lives (see https://www.nicheinternational.org.uk/kangaroo-mother-care-saves-lives/).

A doctor and nurse practise putting a baby skin to skin during a recent NCC in Cameroon.

Today is International Nurses’ Day!

Dr Alison Earley

International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

Felicia with baby manikins donated to or bought by NICHE, and used for training in new born resuscitation

The theme for 2022 is ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health

Working in neonatal care in Cameroon, Liberia and Uganda it is very obvious just how crucial good nurses are to the survival of all babies, but especially those who are premature or unwell. 

We have also found ‘voices to lead’ among the nurses with whom we have worked, and seen their dedication and abilities.

Felicia is a nurse working in an isolated rural setting in Adamawa Region, one of the Regions in the North of Cameroon which has very high perinatal mortality.

The European instructors have gone home


by Grace Ngoran

The second NCC kicked off today with 28 participants in attendance (the 4 extra being the staff who could not make it down to Yaoundé from Bamenda earlier in the week due to concerns around their safety). The excitement was evident as the instructor candidates came up again powerfully with excellent performance. The workshops were really excited particularly the breastfeeding workshop where everyone used the breast models to demonstrate proper latching technique. Participants were observed to be more involved and participatory.

Knitted visual aids in use during the breastfeeding workshop in Yaoundé today

Brighten the corner where you are…

….is a Cameroonian expression meaning do your best to improve things wherever you find yourself. 

Instructor candidate Dr Matzo Fanny Kigne teaches practical skills on a Neonatal Care Course.

During the last 2 days our newly trained Instructor Candidates have stepped up and exceeded expectations in the way they have trained 16 learners on a Neonatal Care Course.  Some of these new trainers come from rural districts in the Northern Abamawa Region, where they work in small isolated units.  They are determined to improve the standard of newborn care in the places they work.  They will indeed be brightening their corner!