Dr. Mazia with Dr. Villamizar (ALAPE) and Drs. Riestra and Michaca (Babies without Borders). Photo courtesy of PATH.
This blog was originally published by MCHIP and was written by Dr. Goldy Mazia and Molly Miller-Petrie
MCHIP’s Dr. Goldy Mazia represented the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Neonatal Alliance at the first neonatology seminar hosted by “Babies without Borders” in Acapulco, Mexico. Attended by more than 1,500 professionals in child and newborn health from Mexico and newborn health experts from around the world, the three day conference included Dr. Mazia’s presentation on the LAC Neonatal Alliance and its priority interventions for newborn health in the region. She was also a panelist in a discussion on the approaches needed to reduce neonatal mortality in the region, and formed part of the table of honor at the opening ceremony. Dr. Mazia officially closed the event, as well.
During the seminar, Dr. Mazia met with the ALAPE (Asociación Latinamericano de Pediatría) President Dr. Villamizar to plan for LAC Neonatal Alliance participation in ALAPE’s upcoming regional meeting, where Dr. Mazia led a newborn resuscitation “Helping Babies Breathe” (HBB) training as requested by the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is also working with Babies without Borders representatives in Mexico to create collaborative links with MCHIP in implementing HBB at the community level, and to help strengthen the formation of a national neonatal alliance in the country.
MCHIP has been a member of the LAC Neonatal Alliance since 2009, with Dr. Mazia serving as Alliance Chair since 2011. The Alliance is supported by USAID and its partners, including the Pan American Health Organization, the CORE Group, Save the Children’s Saving Newborn Lives, the Health Care Improvement Project (HCI), UNICEF, the Mesoamerica Health Initiative 2015 (SM2015), and the Colombian Kangaroo Foundation. Members also include Latin American regional professional associations such as the Regional Association of Pediatrics, the Regional Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the LAC chapter of the International Confederation of Midwives, and the Regional Nursing Association.
USAID and these Alliance partners have worked to foster a consensus among countries in the region on essential actions for newborn health by developing a Regional Strategy and Action Plan to promote newborn health, with a special focus on the most vulnerable populations. Given the importance of examining the mother-newborn dyad in an integrated manner in order to have an impact on Millennium Development Goals four and five, the Alliance also includes the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Sexual and Reproductive Health Unit and other maternal health organizations. These partners—in collaboration with the MCHIP maternal health team—disseminate messages through their constituencies and channels on management of maternal conditions that also impact the fetus/newborn.
MCHIP has been active and prominent in the LAC region, and Dr. Goldy Mazia has been honored with several invitations to serve as a newborn health expert on panels and in trainings around the world, including: the LAC chapter of the World Health Organization’s Commission on Information and Accountability for Women, Newborns, and Children; the International Kangaroo Mother Care Conference; and the Call to Action events focusing on child survival. The Child Survival Call to Action was a high-level event featuring hundreds of heads of state, ministers of health, and other policy experts who came together in June 2012 in Washington, D.C., to identify the actions needed to end preventable child deaths.
National Neonatal Alliances are now active in Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru.