Strengthening access to and quality of reproductive health services in humanitarian settings


Newborn video series increases access to training resources for health care providers in emergencies


Bimala, with her newborn son who is only 8 days old, in the Gorkha district, Nepal. Bimala gave birth to her first three children in the health post in her village, which became destroyed during the earthquakes. When she gave birth to her fourth child in September, it was in the temporary tent set up by Save the Children.
Bimala with her newborn son. Inge Lie/Save the Children, Nepal

In times of crisis, mothers must overcome immense obstacles to provide care and safety for their children, while their own vulnerability to poverty, malnutrition, sexual violence, unplanned pregnancy and unassisted childbirth greatly increases. Pregnant and newly delivered women and their newborns are a particularly vulnerable group in conflict- and disaster-affected settings.

 Humanitarian emergencies often limit access to quality health services and skilled care. In-service and refresher training for health workers in these settings is often challenging, and providers are often generalists who might not have as much experience dealing with sick and small babies. Language and abstract knowledge of real health concerns can also pose barriers.

These gaps can be addressed using Global Health Media’s Newborn Care Series which includes 27 videos on topics ranging from conducting a newborn exam to taking a venous blood sample to managing severe infection. The videos are distributed free-of-charge from the organization’s website, where they can be watched online or downloaded to mobile devices for offline use.

The videos are professionally filmed on-location and voiced over to enable narration in local languages. The videos are all available in English, French and Spanish, and most of the videos are also available in Swahili and Nepali. A number have been translated into other languages for special uses and projects including Urdu, Hindi, Lao, and Luganda.

 The videos have been watched in more than 225 countries and territories and downloaded more than 25,000 times by organizations all over the world. These include leading global health organizations who have made the videos integral to their training and service delivery in low-resource settings. The wide appeal of the videos is not only in their clear “how-to” presentation and step-by-step instruction of skills, but also in their use of live footage to teach the recognition of clinical signs.

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