ACTS and Rotary Training, Breathing Life Into Georgian Babies

When a healthy baby is born everyone is happy, the parents, the family the community.

Two minutes…

When a newborn baby is born and is struggling to breathe Neonatologists have just 2 minutes (120 seconds) to identify and treat the difficulties. With limited time it is critical that physicians and nurses are well trained in neonatal resuscitation and have all essential equipment with small sizes immediately available for rapid action.

Currently, Georgia has one of the highest stillbirth and neonatal death rates in all of Europe especially in the rural mountain regions . For this reason a partnership was established in the spring of 2015 A Call to Serve (ACTS) International, a humanitarian and development organization based in Columbia, Missouri and the first international organization to come to Georgia in early 1992 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. A Call To Serve (ACTS) Georgia the first Georgian affiliate of an international organization, University of Missouri School of Medicine, the Georgian medical Association, and the Tbilisi international Rotary club and rotary south Missouri Rotary club and rotary districts 6080 Missouri, USA and rotary district 2452 Georgia and surrounding countries. Rotary provided the program funding along with donations from organizations and individuals.

“Breathing Life Into Georgian Babies” is one of the first maternal and child health training programs undertaken by rotary international as a vocational training team (VTT) Program worldwide.

The partnership then developed an exceptional VTT pilot program for 9 Kvemo Kartli hospitals to train and equip their physicians and nurses in a special life-saving program for newborn babies called Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP). NRP sets the international standard for excellent care of newborn babies the first 2 minutes after birth. It is in these 2 minutes (120 seconds) that rapid action by well trained physicians and nurses can save the baby’s life if the baby is struggling to breathe.

In June 2015 a team of expert physicians and nurses came to Georgia to launch this NRP training program with their Georgia partners, training a total of 125 physicians and nurses and providing all the essential supplies for saving babies’ lives.

From the University of Missouri School of Medicine, Patricia Blair, M.D., team leader for the ACTS/ Rotary Vocational training team (VTT) also president of ACTS; Dr. John Pardalos, M.D. Medical director of the University of Missouri School of Medicine neonatal department and medical transport team, Erin Khul, R.N NICU; and Medical transport leader, Courtney Kater, RN.M.S. Obstetrics Department, Head St Joseph Hospital SSM system.

ACTS Georgia and the Tbilisi International Rotary Club welcome the arriving University of Missouri

VTT selected 4 outstanding Georgian physicians to be the main program trainers in the country:

Giorgi Tsilosani M.D, PhD. ACTS Georgia President and VTT country program director

David Kvirkveladze,M.D. Past president of Tbilisi Rotary International, VTT medical director

Shorena Chanketvadze, Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) medical director Gudushauri Medical Center

Khatuna Lomauri, M.D. Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) medical Director Tbilisi State Medical Center

These four Georgian physicians worked tirelessly to train additional physicians and nurses from the 9 Kvemo Kartli hospitals and the ACTS Dmanisi Women and Children Wellness Center.

The team of four physicians traveled in the spring of 2106 to the University of Missouri School of Medicine and underwent extensive specialty training in Neonatal intensive care at the 48 bed newly renovated Neonatal intensive care unit. During their training they completed specialized courses in neonatal intensive care including the

The four became the first Georgian physicians to be awarded this high level professional training certification in instruction from the American Academy of Pediatrics Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP).

They were also awarded a neonatal intensive care Certification of Excellence from the University of Missouri School of Medicine and were recognized as a clinical faculty.

Returning to Georgia ACTS/ Rotary VTT worked with the Georgian Ministyr of Health, to conduct 9 hospital assessments in the Kvemo Kartli region. The assessment data will be used by MOHLSA to decide the hospital ability in levels of neonatal care. The ACTS/|Rotary VTT team continued the training of Kvemo Kartli physicians and nurse, helping 172 physicians and nurses complete the full course training in the international standard American Academy of Pediatrics Neonatal Resuscitation program (NRP).

June 19th saw a recognition and graduation ceremony held for these new NRP graduates at the MOHLSA training center in Tbilisi. Deputy Minister of Health Nino Berduli, M.D. and Deputy Governor of Mtskheta Mtianeti, Guram Amiridze, M.D.PhD, were among the invited guests attending.

Dr, Berduli spoke about the importance of the NRP training completed in Kvemo Kartli and the plan to complete similar training in all nine regions of Georgia. She thanked ACTS/ Rotary and the University of Missouri for their important role in the Kvemo Kartli pilot program

Each of the 172 graduates were individually called to the stage and presented their certificates.

Following the graduation ceremony a reception was held to honor the hard work of the graduates and their training team.

Dr. Patricia Blair stressed the importance of completing the initial training in Kvemo Kartli and said that additional continual medical and nurse training activities will be ongoing for the next two years.

The NRP trainings will be updated regularly by the ACTS/Rotary Georgian VTT team. The University of Missouri School of Medicine Neonatal Expert teams will arrive in the fall of 2016 and spring of 2017 including NRP trainers and professional medical transport teams. In addition, teams of Georgian obstetricians and Georgian medical transport experts will be invited to the University of Missouri School of Medicine Neonatal intensive care center.

The ACTS/ Rotary VVT program is providing exceptional sustainable help to Georgia, helping save Georgian babies’ lives.

23 June 2016 22:52