Posted by Steve Lettau on Oct 04, 2018

Two Rotarian pediatricians – one in Ethiopia and the other in California – connected to save babies’ lives with the help of a vocational training team

By Arnold R. Grahl in The Rotarian Magazine

Karin Davies had just finished teaching a group of Ethiopian health care providers a life-saving technique for newborn babies when a third-year obstetric resident came rushing up.

“It really works,” he said. The night before, he had delivered an infant who was born limp and not breathing. After several unsuccessful attempts to stimulate the baby’s breathing, he used a technique, known as positive pressure ventilation, that he had learned only the day before. Within minutes, the baby was screaming. 

“We saw the power of vocational training right before our eyes,” recalls Davies, a retired pediatrician who led four vocational training team trips to Gondar, Ethiopia, between February 2015 and June 2017. The team, funded by a $107,000 Rotary Foundation global grant, trained 73 health care providers who now teach classes for midwives, nurses, and medical students on resuscitation techniques and post-recitation care for newborns.