Article abstract

Introduction: this study aimed to evaluate the long-term retention of knowledge, skills, and competency of health workers who completed a Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) training program and its effect on newborn mortality.


Methods: a quasi-experimental pre- and post-intervention study was conducted. Participants were health workers selected based on their previous training on HBB protocols. Participants were assessed for knowledge, skills, and competency in March 2017 (immediately before and after training), June 2017 (three months after training), and September 2018 (one year after training). Assessments were conducted using HBB questionnaires, checklists and practical skill drills. Mean scores were obtained and ANOVA, chi-squared test, and Pearson's test were used for pre intervention, post intervention, and one-year-after comparisons. The effect of training on the management of newborn asphyxia was assessed based on a review of the delivery registry at a maternity and children's ward. The scores were group into percentages and averages means and were computed using chi-squared tests.


Results: despite improvements in knowledge, skills, and competency three months after training, participants showed a marked decline one year after training. Knowledge increased from 42.5% pretest to 97% posttest but decreased to 84.5% three months' post training and further decreased to 69.4% one year post training. Skills increased from 26.1% pretest to 94.4% posttest, remained at 94.4% at three months, and decreased to 77.0% at one year. Simple resuscitation scores increased from 26.9% to 88.8% pre- and posttest, remained roughly at three months and decreased to 76.4% at one year. For complex resuscitation, scores decreased from 90.9% posttest to 76.9% at one year. The assessments at one year indicated a need for support and practice, especially with bag-mask ventilation.


Conclusion: the immediate evaluation of health workers after HBB training showed significant increases in knowledge, skills and competency in neonatal resuscitation. However, this declined after one year. The training also resulted in decreased neonatal mortality.