I sit here in a room with 5 health care providers in the rural village of Lwala, Kenya.  After two days of training, they are all at different comfort levels with the devices from Health eVillages. There is no talking; just the “tap-tap” of fingers searching for keywords.  They are a mixture of nurses, nurse practitioners, and pharmacy technicians, but they all work together, every day, to improve the quality of life for their village and those in the surrounding area.

It is a pleasure to be here. I feel like a link between the wonderful people at Health eVillages, Skyscape and Physicians Interactive, and these folks, who are everyday working with very little to change the lives of those they serve.

Yesterday, we trained Okari, a nurse practitioner, on the Skyscape software.  During the training, we ask trainees to search for a topic of their choice. Just the day before,  the clinic had admitted Katherine, a patient whose unborn child was at risk for prenatal asphyxia. Apnea in premature births is when a baby’s breathing slows down or stops in short episodes. Okari searched for “neonatal resuscitation” and refreshed his memory with the procedure within the Skyscape software.  He watched the video provided by our partners at MedicalAid Films on neonatal resuscitation. He later explained to me that even though they learn this in nursing school, they don’t perform it all the time and so the review was essential.

Last night, Okari came in early for his shift to check on Katherine.  He was just in time to help deliver her baby, but as he had feared, the baby was not breathing.  Thankfully, Okari had prepared the day before using the Health eVillages software.  Thanks to the devices, his mind was fresh with the knowledge needed for newborn resuscitation. Okari provided the proper medical care and saved the baby’s life!  Katherine left today with a healthy baby boy.

Early the next morning, Okari came to us and asked if he could borrow one of the devices (we still held them as training was ongoing). He gathered all the medical staff in the birthing room and used the Skyscape software along with the Medical Aid Films video to offer a presentation on neonatal resuscitation. He was able to refresh everyone’s memory and easily establish a consistent level of knowledge and in turn care.

It is amazing to be here.

–          Matt

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