Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Training Village Health Care Teams to Identify Cases of Malnutrition in Rukungiri District

On June 20th and June 27th the IECM outreach team including our nurses, volunteers, and Nutrition Fellow helped to train 113 VHTs in Ruhinda sub-county. The trainings include education on signs of malnutrition, screening children for malnutrition, and best nutritional practices.

As a follow-up to training, VHTs went out into the community and screened children making referrals for Child’s Days held on July 6th and July 13th. 184 children were screened, eleven children were admitted to our outpatient treatment program, and four patients were admitted to our inpatient treatment program. Each subsequent visit to our Ruhinda outreach site has increased the volume of children being screened and continued to train VHTs.

It is amazing to see the dedication and hard work our VHTs put in to protect the health of their community members. VHTs are supported by the Ministry of Health in Uganda, but extensive training in malnutrition prevention is not part of their initial five day training program.

IECM has worked with VHTs in communities that receive malnutrition prevention and treatment services from our outreach site. VHTs have been an integral part of our program by helping to identify children deep within the community that are severely and moderately malnourished. The impact that our trained VHTs have holds promising potential for Bikurungu and Murama sub-counties, two of our seven outreach sites that still need VHT training.