Downstate’s Global Impact Revolutionizes NICU Baby Treatments

By Office of the President | Oct 30, 2023

Dr. FortdjourLawrence Fordjour, M.D., FAAP, clinical associate professor of Pediatrics and neonatologist, is first-author of a paper featured in the International Journal of Africa Nursing Sciences.

The paper delves into a project at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (GARH) in Ghana, where NICU nurses were trained on bubble continuous positive airway pressure (bCPAP). This simple, cost-efficient, noninvasive respiratory support method is less technically demanding than endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation.

Baby PhotoThe primary objective of this project was to mitigate neonatal fatalities stemming from premature births, a predominant cause in Ghana and numerous other African nations. Ghana, in particular, records a concerning maternal mortality rate of 319 deaths for every 100,000 live births and an infant mortality rate of 30 deaths for every 1,000 births.

Dr. Fordjour, a Ghana native, has an extensive career as a neonatologist spanning over 15 years. Besides his clinical duties at Downstate, he plays a pivotal role in residency and fellowship educational initiatives and spearheads nutrition, gut immunology, and global health research.

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Dr. Fordjour is a board member of Kybele, a global initiative focused on improving childbirth safety in low- to middle-income nations. His work includes missions to countries like Ghana, Serbia, and Uganda, collaborating with medical professionals in regional and academic hospitals, which typically cater to many high-risk patients but are often challenged by inadequate equipment, staffing issues, and supply shortages.

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Dr. Fordjour’s expertise in the NICU allows for practical assessment of local equipment, technical needs, and hands-on education. His efforts have enhanced Downstate’s global health profile and supported Kybele in delivering advanced newborn resuscitation training in low- to middle-income nations.

Click here to read the complete study, “The Introduction of Nursing Led Bubble-CPAP in a Neonatal Unit in Ghana: A 32-Month Observational Report.”