News Release

Training Helps Newborn Babies Breathe

LDS Charities helps with program.

“There are no arms as empty as the arms of a mother whose baby has just died”. These were the words of Dr. Richard Bell, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a neonatologist from America.  He was in New Delhi, along with Dr. Robert Clark and David Denton for the 7th Annual NRT “Training the Trainers” held in January, 2015.   The training provides life-saving techniques to help babies breathe during the first minute of birth. 

This remarkable and successful neonatal resuscitation training (NRT) has been done in India through a partnership formed by the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), National Neonatology Forum (NNF), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and LDS Charities. 28 trainers trained 70 participants who have now returned to their local areas to train 1,000 more medical personnel throughout India. 

The response to this year’s training was extremely positive again. A strong sense of team work prevailed, much like in a delivery room.  Two advanced trainers were stationed at work tables with five learning doctors who then rotated until all 28 trainers had time with each learning doctor.  Mannequins that looked and responded like a baby allowed the doctors to simulate births of babies with asphyxia. Real hands-on practice. 

Dr. Bell, Dr. Robert Clark and Dr. David Denton are LDS doctors who dedicate their time and service to teaching other doctors in India these life-saving techniques. Dr. Clark and Dr. Bell served together as missionaries in the early 1970’s in Hong Kong. After introduction of the Neonatal Resuscitation Program by the American Academy of Pediatrics, they began to take doctors to China in the early 1990’s to help reduce newborn deaths in China. The Neonatal Resuscitation Training program was adapted by the LDS church and training continued in China. Now the training has spread through the world, with LDS Charities sending 40 teams a year to areas in need.   

This valuable training has been done annually in India since 2006 by Dr Clark and Dr. Bell. Dr Denton joined the team five years ago. Over 5,000 trainers have been trained so far who have then given instruction to 137,000 other doctors, nursing staff and midwives in various states of India. The goal from the Indian Academy of Pediatrics is to have one person at every delivery trained in neonatal resuscitation. 

As part of the training, LDS Charities donated 2100 newborn baby kits, assembled by local church members, to the Swami Dayanand hospital. A fireside was also held for members in the New Delhi area to know what LDS Charities and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is doing in India.  At that time, Dr. Richard Bell said “A child was born not breathing and the doctors did not know what to do.  A nurse who was present and had gone through the neonatal training organized by LDS Charities was able to revive the child.  That child was my grandson.”


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