In April, cameras started rolling for our newborn care video pilot project in the Dominican Republic. This effort was the result of months of careful planning and preparation and assisted by continued donor support.
Site assessments were conducted in 2010 and after making a successful connection with Carlos J. Cuellar, MD, Chief of Party of the Maternal and Child Centers of Excellence in the Dominican Republic, we worked throughout the winter to draft over 30 scripts detailing essential newborn practices. They were reviewed by our content experts, translated into Spanish by a group of wonderful pro bono translators, and sent to participants in the Dominican Republic. We hired a master trainer neonatologist to be our “actress health worker” and found eager and cooperative hospital workers and supportive patients—all who wanted to contribute to this important work by letting us film them and their newborn babies.
Our team left tired, excited, and all the wiser for having undertaken this first filming experience on newborn care. We are currently reviewing hours of raw footage with an eye toward editing the highest quality sequences. Videos will be field-tested with frontline health workers before the final edit to make sure they are as effective as we envision.
In keeping with our goal to internationalize the newborn series we are currently exploring clinical sites in Africa and Asia. There is still much work to do before the complete library of newborn care videos is available on our website and these training videos are streaming on smartphones around the world. However, we are heartened by the global interest and the individual support for this important work.