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Helping Babies, Preventing Malaria

The Research Council of Norway’s Programme for Global Health and Vaccination Research (GLOBVAC) is helping more newborn children survive and reducing the number of deaths from malaria in low- and lower-middle income countries.

Through one programme, midwives working in the delivery rooms of Haydom Lutheran Hospital in a remote area of Tanzania are instructed in how to use newly-developed equipment designed to help newborns struggling to breathe. Studies show that about 16 percent of newborn infants do not begin to breathe on their own. Many of these babies will die or suffer permanent damage without immediate assistance

This equipment was developed and is being implemented as part of the Safer Births innovation project carried out by Laerdal Global Health AS, partially funded under the GLOBVAC programme.

Most newborns that fail to breathe on their own can be saved by stimulating breathing immediately or applying a bag/mask ventilator, according to project manager Dr. Hege Ersdal, who is also an anaesthesiologist at Helse Stavanger Hospital.

Another GLOBVAC project aims to provide information to Tanzanian officials about the most effective mosquito bed netting to help prevent malaria. In one of the world’s largest studies on mosquito nets, researchers have put up three different types of mosquito nets in more than 3 000 households in eight districts in Tanzania to learn which net provides the best protection.