News Release

Dr. Richard Bell and LDS Charities tour facilities in Gujarat India


On April 17, 2017 Richard Bell, MD and LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, toured two facilities in the Indian state of Gujarat.  Dr. Bell and has been working closely with Naveen Thacker, MD of Gandhidham, Gujarat and former National President of the Indian Pediatric Association.  Dr. Thacker’s talented and skilled staff also includes Dr. Upant Rao Dongre, Dr. Balpreet Singh and Dr. Nishtha Kathuria Juneja (Delhi). 

The purpose of these visits was to follow up on the on-going training taking part at baby delivery centers in Gagodhar and Adesar City, both cities in the state of Gujarat and both in the district of Kutch, the largest district in India. 

These two facilities have been involved in a series of Quality Improvement Processes wherein the resident staff practices ventilating techniques or “bagging” on an infant-sized mannequin. 

With the leadership and Dr. Singh and Dr. Dongre, a mentoring program has been installed wherein each staff member is required to practice critical  care bagging technique several times per week.  Each practice session is monitored in a chart and verified to ensure perfect technique when it counts most. 

LDS Charities and Dr. Thackers staff have been working together on a major initiative called “Helping Babies Breath – 100K Babies Survive and Thirve”.  Improvement has been seen in reducing the infant mortality rate, but there is a lot more room for improvement. 

Other topics included simple hand hygiene, skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby at birth, the importance of breastfeeding, autoclaving bed sheets and clothes for immediate use in order to keep the baby clean and the constant record keeping associated with these issues.  Even though the program is called 100K Babies Survive and Thrive, “it’s really about this baby and this family.  Every baby counts”, said Dr. Richard Bell.

Dr. Bell expressed the importance of on-going training by stating, “if you’ve seen one NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) you’ve seen one NICU!  Circumstances vary from unit to unit and obvious parallels and conclusions may not always be concrete or transferable from one unit to the next”. 

Dr. Bell is a Neonatologist and specialist from California. 

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