Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) is an American Academy of Pediatrics neonatal resuscitation program designed to reduce neonatal mortality in low resource settings. The 2017 neonatal mortality rate in Haiti was 28 per 1000 live births and an estimated 85 % of Haitian women deliver at home. Given this, the Community Health Initiative implemented an adapted HBB (aHBB) in Haiti to evaluate neonatal mortality.
Community Health Workers taught an aHBB program to laypeople, which didn’t include bag-valve-mask ventilation. Follow-up after delivery assessed for maternal and neonatal mortality and health.
Analysis included 536 births of which 84.3 % (n=452) were attended by someone trained in aHBB. The odds of neonatal mortality was not significantly different among the two groups (aOR=0.48 [0.16-1.44]). Composite outcome of neonatal health as reported by the mother (subjective morbidity and mortality) was significantly lower in aHBB attended births (aOR=0.31 [0.14-0.70]).
This analysis of the aHBB program indicates that community training to laypersons in low resource settings may reduce neonatal ill-health but not neonatal mortality. This study is likely underpowered to find a difference in neonatal mortality. Further work is needed to evaluate which components of the aHBB program are instrumental in improving neonatal health.

© 2021. The Author(s).