Saving Newborns in War-Torn Liberia

HEARTT program helps train Liberian doctors and midwives to care for infants.
5:10 | 11/26/11

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Transcript for Saving Newborns in War-Torn Liberia
Liberia nestled on the coast of West Africa came into being when freed slaves from the US -- there an eighteen -- too. But that hopeful beginning dissolved into a home -- -- fourteen year civil war. They've in the country and its health care system in the ruins. Only sixty doctors remained. I'm not a single pediatrician among them. That is where two young American doctors coming. It was a dream of greed and glory -- And 1997. Michigan Wolverines were national champion. And on -- field number 46. -- secular. Classic American story. Small town boy makes it -- And he had overcome -- need to get there his father left when he was small his mother and he often struggle to make ends meet. She's like you know the savior my life as those -- the the shining star for me. Number one in his high school class at eighteen he walked on to the University of Michigan football team the problem. They won that national championship. But in these -- now doctor and -- sackler made a decision to live the life of less glamour and North Korea. This is -- ER pharmacy he has chosen to come halfway around the world to the struggling hospital in Iberia. A fourteen year civil war destroyed just about everything here including the health care system. The kids come and much sicker and to thank them and I am very sick so much of this -- the kids yeah. A resident mount Sinai medical school in New York Andy is here is part of -- program trying to turn things around the hospital. Hospital was a gift of the US government back in the 1960s. Grateful liberians and they wounded and former president John F. Kennedy. But during the war soldiers' -- ravaged the place the JFK hospital came to stand for something else. Just -- Just five years ago the hospital still had no lights and no running water. Most of the doctors had died -- fled during the war. In fact until just a few years ago there wasn't a single pediatrician in all of Liberia. That's -- Indians here -- -- -- discount over here sometimes the children will be an account are having all of this overflowing. But he can only so much. He in this colleagues are determined to leave something behind the -- -- merry go home. That's statutory an easterly another resident from mount Sinai. He grew up in Newark but found his way to countries like Senegal. He's practiced in many far flung places like here in an earthquake ravaged Haiti needs to get the medication today. Yet but -- -- -- here in Liberia is part of a program called part. In which every year over seven -- residents from some of the nation's top medical schools including Harvard Yale and the University of Chicago. Take turns providing care. But perhaps more importantly they provide training. The next generation of liberian doctors and nurses. The heart doctors have taught high -- very sick children and and we do save more and then the staff. We'll learn from that and then the next time they're just they're tuning in -- -- such -- -- -- improving even in the last of course. Today Indian -- -- teaching these midwives and training how many people abandoned delivery shed. About helping babies leave in what he called the -- -- minutes. Those vital moments just after a -- is born. And then you can assess whether -- the baby's crying or not crying. Nearly 210 babies don't cry which means they're not breathing on their own line -- Terry -- the babies out. -- an. About the kind of steal these young women learn to day those babies won't make it got her affect. -- -- -- Classes like these will leave a lifesaver legacy for years to come. But for Indy back in the ER there were real lives -- -- saving right now. Three month old cartoon is been lost to the hospital by his mother. He struggles to every -- -- -- where there's irrationally. Urgent situation for candy distress inside the cramped emergency room is familiar. The values that I learned playing -- temple on the freshening going under every day in. You know just a discipline of how to prepare yourself for you know and issues in mind my everyday lives when the pressure's on you have to perform them. And it could see cartoon is in bad shape but at some pretty exactly what's -- The tests he would've ordered back at home -- not possible here. They can even find a -- small enough to fit -- time he fades fast as you can put in sixty -- In -- threadbare ER on the other side of the world does Andy have what it takes to sing baby parts of the law.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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