USAID Celebrates the Tenth Anniversary of Helping Babies Breathe

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Statement by Acting Deputy Administrator John Barsa

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Office of Press Relations
press@usaid.gov

Approximately 10 million newborns around the world need assistance after birth to breathe. Today, we celebrate the pivotal role the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has played in funding the scale-up of a simple innovation that saves the lives of newborns who struggle to breathe in their first minute following birth. In honor of the tenth anniversary of Helping Babies Breathe (HBB), USAID is looking back at the groundbreaking progress that this Global Development Alliance achieved to advance the survival of newborns and the Journey to Self-Reliance.

At its inception, HBB was a transformative approach that created a global movement for preventing newborn deaths by using innovative educational materials, equipment, and training to simplify and demystify what once was a complex public health challenge: newborn resuscitation. Through this partnership, USAID mobilized more than $120 million to help babies breathe and helped roll out this life-saving intervention in more than 80 countries.

After a decade of funding, USAID is proud to phase out our financial support, as many national governments have integrated newborn resuscitation fully and sustainably into the way they deliver care for mothers and their infants at birth.

USAID was a founding member of HBB, alongside the American Academy of Pediatrics; Laerdal Global Health; Save the Children; and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, part of the National Institutes of Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Later, a number of other global health stakeholders joined the partnership. Read the 2020 Acting on the Call Report to learn about USAID’s investments in preventing maternal and child deaths.

Last updated: April 16, 2021

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