EHS-COVID (269) Webinar: Newborns and COVID-19: A discussion with practitioners (2)

22 April, 2021

The slides and recording of the Healthy Newborn Network webinar are now available here:

The webinar included presentations from Colombia, Kenya, and Bangladesh.

1. Natalie Charpak, Pediatrician, Director of the Kangaroo Foundation of Colombia

2. David Gathara, Assistant Professor of Health Systems, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

3. Professor Mohammod Shahidullah, Chairman, Department of Neonatology, BSMMU

A few points of interest:

1. All three presentations prioritised information sharing and training to maintain essential health services

2. The Colombia and Kenya presentations specifically included a focus on WhatsApp groups as a mechanism for communication and knowledge sharing

3. Colombia and Bangladesh noted the inappropriate (and harmful) separation of newborns from mothers in the early stages of the pandemic, a policy that was subsequently corrected

4. Kenya: 'Lots of webinars during the early days of COVID-19 pandemic to disseminate knowledge, best practices'

5. Kenya: 'A community of practice for newborn care practitioners (neonatologists, paediatricians, nurses, biomedical engineers) via WhatsApp – sharing lessons and best practices'

6. Bangladesh:

- Many facilities were transformed in COVID19 management unit

- Reassignment of service providers for COVID19 case management

- Lack of confidence to manage newborn by the service providers during COVID19...

7. Bangladesh:

- Service providers and health managers trained on MNCH guideline using virtual platform

- IEC materials (poster, videos, animation) for providing MNCH services during COVID19 developed

- Mobile phone based follow up, message dissemination


Best wishes, Neil

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator,