Addressing Critical Knowledge Gaps in Newborn Health

Bringing newborn care to life: New videos teach frontline health workers and mothers how to care for newborns

The power of video: Bringing care to life on a mobile phone, Nigeria

Global Health Media Project is merging the teaching power of video with the dissemination potential of current and emerging communication technologies to make videos accessible to frontline health workers even in remote settings. By capitalizing on expanding Internet access and the proliferation of mobile devices throughout the developing world, far more people can be reached, at significantly lower cost, and with much better health care information than was conceivable only a few years ago.

Global Health Media Project is designing and producing videos that bring lifesaving health care information to frontline health workers in primary care and district facilities. A number of videos will be useful for community workers and for the needs of the general population.

Health worker in Nigeria views video on danger signs.

The first video series, a set of 35 brief vignettes, aims to bring alive newborn care clinical guidelines. The videos go to the heart of topics in a simple and concise way with “need-to-know” information. The series will cover topics ranging from skill building for newborn care, managing newborn complications (including sepsis, asphyxia and cord infection), breastfeeding instruction, and also depict home visits for newborn care and referrals. They feature high-quality footage filmed in developing countries, voiced over to enable narration in many languages, and animated where needed to illuminate key teaching points. These videos can be used as complementary teaching tools in pre-service and in-service training sessions, and given to health workers as job aids to review as needed. They can also serve as stand-alone health care references for those who do not have access to organized training programs.

Filming the "newborn physical exam," Nigeria

The videos will be disseminated as broadly as possible—free of charge—to reach those who desperately need this health care information. Global Health Media Project is partnering with HealthPhone in India, (who is working with UNICEF and the Government of India), to distribute their videos on a memory card used in mobile phones, thus giving health workers access to visual training tools in 15 Indian languages without the need for Internet connectivity. This innovation has the potential to reach over two million health workers in India.

The Perinatal Education Program in South Africa will be embedding the videos into their eBooks. These are free-of-charge self-managed learning programs for nurses and midwives to be used by universities, hospitals and training programs around South Africa and in several other countries in that region.

Deb Van Dyke, founder and director of Global Health Media Project, examines a newborn in Nigeria.

Their first 10 videos are now out for review and field-testing at more than a dozen sites around the world. Following final edits they’ll be promoted worldwide and available for free download on Global Health Media Project’s website.