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Infant mortality is one of the world’s most neglected health problems; and one of the main causes of death among newborns is birth asphyxia, a condition resulting from deprivation of oxygen. Although therapeutic hypothermia is an effective method of treatment, newborns delivered in the Brasov region of Romania are deprived from getting this treatment due to a lack of capacity-essential equipment and trained health staff and protocols.

Since 2008, Project HOPE has facilitated a Neonatal Medical Exchange Program in the NICU of the Brasov Maternal Hospital and regional network of maternity hospitals, providing the best evidence-based and recommended care to newborns with birth asphyxia to assure the best possible health outcomes for these babies.

In the most recent phases (2015 to 2017), the program addresses more advanced and up-to-date treatment techniques such as the implementation of therapeutic hypothermia in the Brasov Maternal Hospital, featuring effective conventional and high-frequency ventilation for pre-term newborns. The program also broadened its scope to focus on the most important maternal care principles such as external and internal CTG (cardiotocography) fetal monitoring during pregnancy and labor.

History

In 1991 Project HOPE launched a nation-wide infant Hepatitis B immunization campaign in Romania in which we shipped 750,000 doses of vaccines and the supplies needed to administer them.  Also in 1991 we shipped antibiotics, influenza vaccine and other medical supplies worth $8.2 million to Romania.  In 1992, HOPE initiated a program to improve maternal and child health in Romania through training faculty of nursing schools in contemporary nursing theory and practice and developing model clinical units that exemplified contemporary nursing practice.  Project HOPE also donated OB/GYN equipment to the Dr. Ioan Aurel Sbraceo Hospital in Brasov in 2000.

In more recent years Project HOPE, in partnership with the University Children’s Hospital of Krakow, Poland and the Dr. Ioan Aurel Sbraceo Hospital in Brasov, Romania, has been facilitating a neonatal care training exchange program (which started in 2008). This program seeks to reduce preventable deaths and disabilities of newborns and their mothers in the Brasov region of Romania. Using the “Train the Trainer” methodology, medical specialists from Romania are being trained by consultants from Poland’s University Children’s Hospital in such topics as perinatal infection prevention, ultrasonography and patient safety.

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