BirthLink Visits HEAL Africa’s Neonatal Center

May 12, 2022
Goma, DRC
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Adeline, Elisabeth, Kathy, Nadine, Charley, Muka & trainee Murielle (Photo: Paul Mellor, BirthLink)

Global Strategies long time British partner, BirthLink, visited our joint program in Goma, DRC. The visit marked the first in-person meeting since the Nyiragongo Volcano eruption in May 2021. The Congolese nursing team, led by Elisabeth Samvura, operates the Neonatal Center of Excellence at HEAL Africa Hospital in Goma. The work is life-saving; the Congolese nurses are experts in treating the top causes of newborn illness and are working in an area with some of the highest neonatal mortality rates in the world. The team met with Kathy Mellor of BirthLink to review the neonatal program, tour the new neonatal space and plan for the year ahead.

Nurses who attend the training center are often from isolated or remote clinics. Frequently they are responsible for both delivery of newborns and care after birth. The training program has two goals. The first goal is to improve the skill level of nurses in essential newborn care. The second goal is to create a network of neonatal nurses in North Kivu, beyond the city of Goma. After graduating from the program, trainees remain in touch with Elisabeth and her team through WhatsApp. This informal communication keeps nurses connected to their Congolese mentors and helps expedite the referral of sick babies who need the hospital’s advanced neonatal intensive care unit.

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With a daily-remote monitoring system, our patients can be remotely assessed by specialists, which is exceptional. No other organization here is working this way
Dr. Denis Mukwege, Panzi Foundation

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