Helping save lives around the world
DOCTORS and midwives from Southmead Hospital have been helping save the lives of babies and mothers across the globe.
And now they have received a £30,000 grant from the Government to help support the training of their counterparts in a Zimbabwean hospital.
The maternity staff at the Bristol hospital developed a training programme to ensure that staff were fully drilled in dealing with complications during labour as a team. They worked with St Philip's company Limbs and Things to develop a model to use in simulating childbirth.
It proved so successful in reducing brain injury and paralysis in babies in Bristol that the training programme was rolled out to 75 per cent of UK trusts and has since been used in Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Trinidad, the Bahamas and Mongolia and will soon start in the United States.
The team will use the grant announced by international development secretary Andrew Mitchell on International Day of the Midwife yesterday to continue their work with Mpilo Hospital in Zimbabwe.
Midwives and doctors from Southmead went out to the hospital in Bulawayo in November to train staff there how to use the Prompt (Practical obstetric multiprofessional training) course to train their colleagues. They then returned in March to watch staff there delivering the course. Seventy five members of staff have now been trained in Zimbabwe, with all members of the team due to be trained within a year.
Staff at Mpilo Hospital will then also train the team from a midwife-led hospital so that they can also improve the outcomes of labour.
Since it was first introduced at Southmead in 2000, the number of babies born with injuries that could cause cerebral palsy, or with a paralysed arm, has fallen by 70 per cent.
In 2010 the Prompt Maternity Foundation was set up to deliver the course across the UK and the rest of the world.
In Zimbabwe one in 43 women dies as a result of pregnancy and childbirth and it is hoped that training midwives and doctors in the Bristol-developed Prompt programme this could be significantly reduced.
Clinical lecturer in obstetrics based at Southmead Hospital, Joanne Crofts, said the course focuses on midwives and doctors training together, starting with workshops, before all staff work together on responding to emergency scenarios as if they were real using the mannequins to simulate problems in childbirth.
Emergency boxes have also been introduced at the Zimbabwean hospital to ensure that all the drugs and equipment needed for particular scenarios are all stored together ready to be used when necessary.
Dr Crofts said: "We are so proud of Prompt as a team. We have worked very hard but it is very satisfying to know that it is making a difference in lots of places.
"The money from the Department for International Development is great news for us and is quite important funding because it is from the government recognising the work that we are doing and we are very pleased that we have got that."