Caring & Giving
Giving Breath To Life
Giving Breath To Life

When Yang Song’s son, Song Xiaoyan, was born, he could not breathe on his own until nurses performed life-giving resuscitation. Xiaoyan is one of more than 90,000 children given new life through China’s Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP), a joint effort by Johnson & Johnson, the Chinese Ministry of Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics to address birth asphyxia—when a baby is unable to breathe at birth.

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Nurses are among our many valued partners. They are often the first person at the bedside when a woman is having a baby. We can often help nurses and midwives with training and equipment to face challenges at birth.

One such challenge is birth asphyxia —an inability to breathe at birth. It happens with approximately one out of every 10 babies. Birth asphyxia is a major cause of infant mortality and can contribute to developmental issues such as cerebral palsy and mental retardation. Johnson & Johnson has programs that address birth asphyxia in China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa and Vietnam.

The largest of these is China’s Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP), also known as Freedom of Breath, Fountain of Life. Since the program launched in 2004, neonatal mortality caused by birth asphyxia has declined in China by more than 53 percent, based on evaluated program sites in 20 target provinces (each of which has more than 20,000 hospitals).

Nurses, as both clinical partners and NRP trainers, are a key element in the program’s success and scale-up. Wang Lingyun, Nurse, Shanxi Provincial Maternal and Child Health Center, says, “After taking the neonatal resuscitation courses a few times, I became proficient in resuscitation. Now, even if no doctors are present at the delivery, I am confident that I can manage everything.”

The success of the program has led to a policy change in China. Now, neonatal resuscitation certification is a professional requirement for nurses, midwives and obstetricians working in labor and delivery. In 2010, Johnson & Johnson committed to extending the reach of the NRP for the next five years.

“China’s Neonatal Resuscitation Program has given us a strong model to implement and scale up in other countries,” says Joy Marini, Director, Corporate Contributions. “We are making sure that these programs include what we’ve learned in China, and also that they reflect the unique needs and culture of each country. Most important, we want to ensure that doctors, nurses and midwives have the resuscitation skills and equipment to save more lives.”

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