CPAP for children

Pneumonia is the number one killer of children under 5 years. Every year, 2 million children under the age of 5 die globally due to acute respiratory infections. The CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is a low-technology device that helps babies breathe easily, and gives caregivers the crucial time window to arrange for advanced care when needed.

  • CPAP is relatively easy to learn, easy to use, easy to maintain
  • CPAP is successfully used on neonates in resource-poor areas
  • CPAP is effective for under-5 children as well

The CPAP program, in which Columbia University and the Kenya Paediatric Association (KPA) are key partners, provides this much-needed device to the facilities and conducts training of trainers. CPHD, supported by the GE Foundation, has partnered with the sidHARTe (Systems Improvement at District Hospitals and Regional Training on Emergency Care) team of Columbia University and KPA to introduce CPAP machines and train health workers in the use of the same in Kenyan Hospitals. 

The objective of the program is to integrate CPAP into the local healthcare system—this will ensure that the intervention continues even after the end of this program:

  • Integrate CPAP curriculum and training model into DHG partner’s child health programs in Kenya and Rwanda (CPHD)
  • Create a cadre of local CPAP Master Trainers in East Africa
  • Describe epidemiology and usage patterns of CPAP
  • Create an effective and sustainable Global CPAP training model
  • Build local research and monitoring and evaluation capacity

Already, a team of local CPAP Master Trainers has been developed and they have successfully demonstrated their ability to train others and have even organized their own training sessions. The guidelines for CPAP usage for neonates are also complete.

The results in the first year of this GE Foundation-funded program have been very encouraging. More than 75 health workers have been trained as instructors in applying CPAP on newborns and children under 5 years and more than 1000 babies have already benefitted. With wider and more judicious use of CPAP, health facilities can radically improve the survival chances of babies in respiratory distress.

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