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Resuscitating babies that aren't breathing at birth has been identified as a highly effective intervention and its scale-up as a top research priority. Measuring the progress made in the scale-up of this intervention is however difficult, requiring the development of a proxy indicator.

This paper published by Josephine Exley, Nasir Umar, Sarah Moxon, Adamu Umar Usman and Tanya Marchant from the IDEAS project, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Data Research and Mapping Consult in the Journal of Global Health took a closer look at data for more than 17,000 births that took place in Gombe State.

Results showed that 81% of the facilities did not have all items of essential equipment required for resuscitation. Only 3% of the 117 interviews birth attendants demonstrated competence to perform resuscitation.

The proxy indicator developed to measure coverage and scale-up of basic newborn resuscitation was defined as: “percent of newborns born in a facility with the potential to provide newborn resuscitation”. The application of this indicator revealed substantial missed opportunities to provide life-saving care and highlights the need for greater focus on input as well as process quality in all levels of health facilities.


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Josephine Exley

Research Fellow

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Dr Nasir Umar

IDEAS Nigeria Country Coordinator and Assistant Professor

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Professor Tanya Marchant

IDEAS Principal Investigator and Professor