Helping babies breathe: assessing the effectiveness of simulation-based high-frequency recurring training in a community-based setting of Pakistan

Kiran Mubeen, Marina Baig, Sadia Abbas, Farzana Adnan, Arusa Lakhani, Shireen Shehzad Bhamani, Bushra Rehman, Shahnaz Shahid, Rafat Jan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Birth asphyxia is one of the significant causes of neonatal deaths in Pakistan. Poor newborn resuscitation skills of birth attendants are a major cause of neonatal mortality in low resource settings across the globe. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Simulation-Based High-Frequency training of the Helping Babies Breathe for Community Midwives (CMW), in district Gujrat, Pakistan. Method: A pre-post-test interventional study design was used. The universal sampling technique was employed to recruit 50 deployed CMWs in the entire district of Gujrat. The pre-tested module and tools of Helping Babies Breathe (2nd edition) were used in the intervention. Using the High Frequency training approach, three one-day training sessions were conducted for CMWs at an interval of 2 months. During the 2 months interval, participants were monitored and supported to practice their skills at their birthing centers. Knowledge and skills were assessed before and after each session. The McNemar and Cochran’s Q tests were applied for data analysis. Participants’ feedback was also obtained at the end of each training, which was analyzed through descriptive statistics. Results: Data from 34 CMWs were analyzed as they completed all three training sessions and assessments. The results were statistically different after each training session for OSCE B (p-value < 0.05). However, for knowledge and OSCE A, significant improvement was observed after training sessions 1 and 2 only. Pairwise comparison showed that pre-assessment at training 1 was significantly different from most of the repeated measures of knowledge, OSCE A, and OSCE B. Moreover, the learners appreciated the overall training in terms of organization, content, material, assessment, and overall competency. Additionally, due to a small sample size of the CMWs, and a short time of the intervention, significant differences in morbidity and mortality outcomes could not be detected. Conclusion: The study concluded that a series of training and continuous supportive supervision and facilitation enhances Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) knowledge retention and skills. The study recommends, periodic, structured and precise HBB trainings, with ongoing quality monitoring activities through blended learning modalities would help sustain and scale-up the intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number555
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Community midwives
  • Helping baby breathe
  • Low dose high frequency
  • Newborn resuscitation
  • Pakistan
  • Simulation


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