|Dr Atul Malhotra|
A Royal Australasian College of Physicians’ (RACP) grant will enable expansion of a teaching and research program in neonatal resuscitation in India, potentially saving the lives of hundreds of babies.
Monash University researcher and Monash Children’s Hospital neonatologist Dr Atul Malhotra is the recipient of the 2016 RACP Eric Burnard Fellowship, allowing him to travel to rural Punjab to develop an educational program for health workers to recognise perinatal asphyxia (oxygen deprivation) and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).
A type of brain damage, HIE occurs when a newborn infant’s brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen and blood.
“Neonatal resuscitation and the prompt recognition of an asphyxiated newborn is key to reducing neonatal mortality.”
Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2013-14, Dr Malhotra along with his co-researchers at Monash University led an Indian collaborative education program to develop neuroprotective therapies with local health leaders to decrease birth asphyxia-related brain injuries in neonates.
Dr Malhotra said the rural region in Punjab, India is the logical next step to extend their Indian program of neonatal neuroprotection.
“I have strong connections with the local host institution, the Community Medicine Department of PGI, Chandigarh,” said Dr Malhotra.
“I am very excited about starting the next chapter of our Indian education program when we travel to Punjab later this year.”
Associate Professor Michael Fahey, Head of Paediatric Neurology at Monash Children’s Hospital will assist Dr Malhotra in the roll out of the program.