Introducing “Engage for Healthy Newborns” (EHN) – a joint COINN/GEI campaign

The Council of International Neonatal Nurses (COINN) and the Global Engagement Institute (GEI) have teamed up to launch the "Engage for Healthy Newborns" (EHN) campaign, a unique high-impact global engagement model to inspire health professionals and institutions from around the world to Engage for Healthy Newborns in Africa and Asia.

The Cause

Many countries especially in the developing world fall short of achieving Millennium Development Goal 4 – a reduction of child mortality by two thirds from 1990 to 2015. According to The Lancet’s Every Newborn series, 3 of the 6 million annual, global maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths are preventable with just three proven interventions: newborn resuscitation, kangaroo mother care and breastfeeding.

Building workforce capacity of those rendering newborn care is essential to decrease mortality, especially in low-resource countries. And evidence-based curricula such as Helping Babies Breathe® (HBB) are readily available – but not consistently taught.

The EHN Campaign

In collaboration with health ministries, universities, hospitals and civil society partners at the destinations, EHN sends Travel & Teach delegations of 12 international health professionals and an experienced master trainer to countries like Rwanda, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam. Participants have the opportunity to upgrade their own professional knowledge, skills and intercultural competence while making significant contributions to the development of capacity of local health professionals, institutions and systems.

On the ground, they first take a Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) Master Trainer course and an intercultural workshop together with a group of local counterparts, before pairing up to teach HBB to local health professionals under the supervision of the master trainer. The typical duration of the trips is 11 days.

The result is a unique self-financing model. Each visiting delegation is entirely paid for through the participants’ contributions to their costs of attendance or through sponsorships. And the impact goes far beyond the main goal of developing local workforce capacity: Both international and local participants also benefit from opportunities to enhance their emotional and cultural intelligence, and to foster global understanding, professional exchange and friendships.

At a glance

  • Intervention goal: Development of neonatal resuscitation and essential care workforce capacity
  • Intervention objectives (2015): To train 120 international and 120 local health professionals as HBB/HBS instructors who then train 1,200 local care givers as HBB/HBS providers
  • Intervention curricula: Helping Babies Breathe (HBB), Helping Babies Survive (HBS)
  • Initial intervention countries: Rwanda, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam
  • Intervention website:

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