Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)


Background: Whether facility-based implementation of Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) reduces neonatal mortality at a population level in low and middle income countries (LMIC) has not been studied. Therefore, we evaluated HBB implementation in this context where our study team has ongoing prospective outcome data on all pregnancies regardless of place of delivery.

Methods: We compared outcomes of birth cohorts in three sites in India and Kenya pre-post implementation of a facility-based intervention, using a prospective, population-based registry in 52 geographic clusters. Our hypothesis was that HBB implementation would result in a 20 % decrease in the perinatal mortality rate (PMR) among births ≥1500 g.

Results: We enrolled 70,704 births during two 12-month study periods. Births within each site did not differ prepost intervention, except for an increased proportion ofbirths; however, a post-hoc analysis stratified by birthweight documented improvement insurvival.

Conclusions: Rapid scale up of HBB training of facility birth attendants in three diverse sites in India and Kenya was not associated with consistent improvements in mortality among all neonates ≥1500 g; however, differential improvements inpopulation, data collection, and ongoing quality monitoring activities.

Trial registration: The study was registered at NCT01681017


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth

Included in

Pediatrics Commons