Refreshed after a good night’s sleep, the team chatted eagerly over breakfast about the training they would share with the Honduran providers today. The new Friends of Barnabas NICU education program is bringing incredible value to caregivers, babies and families in Honduras. Even though the workshop has been full for weeks, the FOB phones have continued to ring with requests from other doctors and nurses who wanted to be part of this learning opportunity.
The workshop was held at the Copantl conference center in San Pedro Sula. The 28 nurses and 6 doctors attending provide care to newborns at three public and ten private hospitals in the city. It was sponsored by the Hospital de Valle and pharmaceutical companies Abbott, Merck, Nestle, Roemmers and MSD.
In her opening remarks, Dr. Olga Dinorah Nolasco Lopez from the regional health department shared her great passion for providing quality care to the country’s sick newborns, especially those in remote areas. She stated, “We are all Hondurans. Our country needs this, our mothers need this, our babies need this. We are grateful to God for the opportunity to learn how to provide better care.”
Diane, Jennifer and Heather led the participants through the S.T.A.B.L.E. program, which focuses on the resuscitation, stabilization and transport of babies who are sick and/or pre-term. It was first introduced in 1996 in the US and Canada and is now being practiced and taught in more than 45 countries. S.T.A.B.L.E. stands for the six assessment and care modules in the program: Sugar, Temperature, Airway, Blood pressure, Lab work, and Emotional support. It creates a standardized process for daily neonatal care in any hospital setting. Our nurse instructors shared guidelines that we take for granted – how to calculate the appropriate dose of IV glucose administration, insert an umbilical catheter, prevent heat loss in babies and many more relevant instructions.
Language was not a barrier to today’s teaching. A very skilled and patient interpreter provided real-time translation into headphones that allowed the Honduran participants to understand our English-speaking instructors. This setup also allowed the Americans to understand questions and comments from the audience.
At the end of the day, 34 doctors and nurses were the world’s newest certified S.T.A.B.L.E. program learners. This is the first opportunity that Honduran nurses have ever been given to complete any kind of continuing education certification program. What an honor for the Friends of Barnabas to be able to offer and coordinate this event!
Our team ended the day with dinner, devotions and shared experiences and emotions. We are all looking forward to tomorrow when we will work alongside doctors and nurses in their own hospitals, taking care of precious babies. There is no doubt that God is in our midst – we have felt His presence and provision from way before this journey even started.