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Best wishes from Laerdal Global Health and the Safer Births Team


2013 has been a rewarding but busy year. We got funding from the Norwegian Research Council through the GLOBVAC program, finalized the Laerdal Newborn Resuscitation Monitors, and started the data collection of heart rate and respiration data. We are also well underway to having the Laerdal Fetal Heart Rate Monitor ready for use in research.


After intense work with putting ideas onto paper, the Safer Births application for GLOBVAC funding was submitted on the 14th of February 2013. In June, we got the response from the Norwegian Research Council we had hoped for … We were awarded close to 20million NOK over the next four years for our research and development of new products to help save newborn lives.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Norwegian Research Council for their support.

The local television program in Stavanger featured a reportage of the Safer Births project that can be seen here.


On the 1st of July the DNV signed the final certification document making the Laerdal Newborn Resuscitation Monitor ready for use for research at Haydom. Only a few days after a team from Stavanger transported and installed three of the monitors in the labor ward at Haydom Lutheran Hospital in Tanzania. The midwifes were given training in how to use the monitor and the collection of heart rate data from healthy newborns and resuscitation data was commenced. By the end of 2013 the collection of heart rate data was finalized and the collection of resuscitation data underway.


In early July, the first stages of conceptualizing the fetal heart rate monitor started by the product designer Cenk Aytekin visiting Haydom. Visiting the labor ward and talking to the midwives gave him  insight into the context and usage of the device. This visit was complemented with a visit at the Muhimbili labor ward where working prototypes were presented to the midwives, in order to get additional feedback. These field trips and feedback from the midwives have strengthened our belief in the need for this innovation.


The annual meeting took place in Stavanger and provided the first opportunity for all partners and researchers to meet. During the meeting, progress and future plans for the project was discussed, as well as the plans for each of the innovations. Smaller working groups allowed for deeper discussions between the PhD fellows, product designers and supervisors on the challenges and opportunity related to the different products.

The annual meeting was followed by the GLOBVAC conference in Bergen where most of the GLOBVAC researchers attended. The Safer Births group had three posters approved for presentations and held a separate parallel session related to the Safer Births project.

In this annual video 2013   you can see the other ongoing projects in Laerdal Global Health aiming to save lives at the day of birth.