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Ministry of Health supported by UNICEF officially launches the NIDCAP certification process for three Neonatal Intensive Care units in IRAN

20 April 2015- As per the joint cooperation of Ministry of Health and UNICEF, two renowned global experts of Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP), including the founder of the approach Professor Heidelise Als and Dr Nick Connaman travelled to Iran to train and coach a group of neonatologists and nurses in three hospitals in Tehran, Shiraz and Tabriz on application of NIDCAP standards.

Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP) is a comprehensive approach to care that is developmentally supportive and individualized to the premature infant’s needs and the level of stability in the NICU. It significantly reduces the premature newborns’ health problems as well as developmental disorders in future life. NIDCAP seeks to support families and the professionals who care for them. It provides and trains professionals within this NIDCAP framework.

Director of Ministry of Health’s neonatal health department, Dr. Mohammad Heydarzadeh, expressing his satisfaction over the launch of NIDCAP programme in these three hospitals said:” In NIDCAP, it’s not only the newborn baby that is the centre of neonatal care, but the family is equally important such as the emotional bond between the NICU nurse and parents, between parents and the baby, and between the baby and the nurse. “Dr. Heydarzadeh added:” over the recent years, we have seen some good measures to improve the neonatal health status of the country, but so far no considerable measure has been taken to improve the quality of neonatal care and development, which we hope to achieve by running the NIDCAP programme with UNICEF help.”

The Ministry of Health supported by UNICEF Iran Office joined the adaptation and localization of NIDCAP approach into services of NICUs in Iran for the first time in November 2013 through a five day master training workshop in Isfahan with facilitation of Prof. Als, and Neonatal specialist from Erasmus University in the Netherlands, Dr. Connaman. This workshop enhanced the knowledge and on-the-job skill capacity of a group of 65 interdisciplinary experts working in NICUs. Following the workshop, a group of Iranian neonatal specialists and NICU staff travelled to Netherlands in early 2015 and visited Sofia hospital in Rotterdam where NIDCAP standards are applied.

The three selected NICUs, Hafez Hospital in Shiraz, Al-zahra hospital in Tabriz and Mahdiyeh hospital in Tehran are undergoing a well-planned training program during a course of two years and ultimately the centers will be certified as the reference NICUs for NIDCAP operation and master trainings in future.




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