In Romania, Project HOPE is helping to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes through strengthening health professional capacity in evidence-based care protocols.
Despite recent improvements, Romania continues to face challenges in reducing preventable deaths among newborns. In 2016, the country’s neonatal mortality rate was nearly double the average rate of European Union members.
Improving maternal and neonatal mortality in Romania has been a priority of Project HOPE’s since 1992. Our current program began in 2008 through a partnership with the University Children’s Hospital (UCH) of Krakow, Poland and the Dr. Ioan Aurel Sbraceo Hospital in Brasov. Together, we established the Neonatal Medical Exchange Program in effort to strengthen health professional capacity in evidence-based newborn care protocols and techniques.
The Neonatal Medical Exchange Program includes the NICU of the Brasov Maternity Hospital and a regional network of maternity hospitals working together to reduce preventable deaths and disabilities of newborns and their mothers in the Brasov region of Romania. Using “Train the Trainer” methodology, medical specialists from Romania have been trained by consultants from Poland’s UCH in topics such as perinatal infection prevention, ultrasonography and patient safety.
The program has been implemented in multiple phases since it began. Most recently, the program introduced more advanced and up-to-date treatment techniques at the hospital including therapeutic hypothermia and effective conventional and high-frequency ventilation for preterm newborns.
HOPE also broadened its scope of activities to focus on the most important maternal care principles such as external and internal CTG (cardiotocography) fetal monitoring during pregnancy and labor.
Project HOPE’s efforts in Romania have contributed to a decrease in neonatal mortality rates at the Brasov Maternity Hospital. Our successful approach in Romania led to a similar three-year program model currently being implemented in Papa, Hungary.
Our History in Romania
Project HOPE launched in Romania in 1991 with a nationwide infant Hepatitis B immunization campaign. We shipped 750,000 doses of Hepatitis B vaccines and the supplies needed to administer them, followed by antibiotics, influenza vaccines and other medical supplies valued at $8.2 million.
In 1992, we initiated a program to improve maternal and child health in Romania by training nursing faculty in nursing theory and by developing model clinical units that exemplified contemporary nursing practice. We also donated OB/GYN equipment to the Dr. Ioan Aurel Sbraceo Hospital in Brasov in 2000.