Dr. Alka Dev, a recent graduate of the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, and colleague were announced as winners of the 4th annual Children’s Prize Foundation. The Children’s Prize is an annual competition launched globally to fund evidence-based child survival work.
[Photo: Dr. Alka Dev]
Under their leadership the $250,000 award will be used to build a model for the reduction of newborn mortality in Haiti. The 30-month project introduces a low-cost, highly effective neonatology service at Hôpital Immaculée Conception, the referral hospital for the country’s southern region. In doing so, the project will provide critical support of life in acutely low resource settings.
Serving as a referral hospital for approximately 775,000 people in a rural area, Hôpital Immaculée Conception currently has no capacity for neonatal resuscitation or ongoing respiratory support. The hospital needs a neonatal team trained to distinguish and identify stillbirths from newborns requiring resuscitation at birth. The winning plan proposes to: 1) introduce neonatal resuscitation; 2) establish a new neonatal service with capacity for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure; and 3) train key health staff in neonatology care, creating the opportunity to save more lives.
At the center of the winning project is the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3, which puts forth the target to reduce neonatal mortality to 12 per 1,000 live births by 2030. In 2013, nearly 65 percent of the 6,713 neonatal deaths in Haiti were related to respiratory distress.