The Paediatric and Child Health Association (PACHA) of Malawi
started in 2015 to work with district hospitals to identify rooms and staff
specifically dedicated for sick newborns, renovating the new units
and equipping them with key equipment. A training package –
Care of the Infant and Newborn (COIN) for capacity building of mid-level health workers (nurses and clinical officers) in the care of sick babies was developed along with neonatal admission forms and other supporting tools (adapted from real time monitoring tools courtesy UNICEF India).

Training was provided to 350 health workers. In addition, 43 pre-service lecturers from all but two health training institutions have been trained, nurse and midwife curriculum reviews facilitated, and mentoring and supervision provided. Working with the Central Monitoring and Evaluation Department (CMED) at MOH, a newborn care register was developed, printed, tested and initially used in these 10 hospitals. A database was also developed and used capturing the information from the neonatal admission forms.

The mortality rate for newborns in ten hospitals has shown a one-third reduction in the one year period, twice as fast as envisioned in project design.