A nutritionist at Boitekanelo College of Education, Ms Olebogeng Petrus has said from March to November 2014, 40 children under age of five were admitted with malnutrition in Kgatleng District health facitlities.
Officiating at Kgatleng District Health Management Team (DHMT) wellness open day for children under the age of five on November 20, Ms Petrus said the day was adopted after the DHMT conducted a mini study that proved escalating admissions of children less than five years of age from respective villages in Kgatleng with cases of burns, ingestion of chemicals and malnutrition.
She said DHMT was concerned with the number and had to come up with a holistic approach through the involvement of different stakeholders and community members in order to collectively sensitise the community, especially care takers on malnutrition prevention, its causes, predisposing factors and management.
“This strategy is also meant to reinforce partnership in provision of quality services towards a common goal-prevention of malnutrition and inculcating ahealthy lifestyle in our community,” she said
Further, she said Kgatleng DHMT envisaged using this platform to sensitise its community about other diseases like Ebola and non-communicable diseases so that they can recognise the diseases early and seek medical attention while the possibilities of cure or simple cost effective measure for control are feasible
Health information and education, she said, are made available to the public at various sites convenient to them in support of having an educated nation.
Ms Petrus said Boitekanelo College, a privately owned healthcare institution, has in its assessment identified a gap in the healthcare workforce, adding that the college has introduced a degree in nutrition and dietetics which she said will be beneficial to the problem of malnutrition in the district and the entire country.
She said with an increased number of qualified dieticians, the country can see early intervention and prevention of such ills, adding that the college has sent 500 graduates who were trained in partnership with the ministries of Youth Sports and Culture and Health as health education assistants.
The students, she said will be absorbed by the MOH in the very rural areas to help educate the nation on health related matters
She added that this will therefore help reduce and prevent prevalence of some health problems such as reducing child mortality and improving maternal health and combating HIVAIDS, malaria and
“Ministry of Health continues to work with relevant stakeholders and NGOs in creating partnerships for provision of quality health care but much remain to be done in order to have a healthy nation by 2016,” she said.
For her part, Nursing Superintendent at Deborah Retief Memorial Hospital, Dr Keabetswe Pone said the objective of the event was to develop and implement strategies and initiatives to help address MDGs 4 and 6 which are geared towards reduction of child mortality and morbidity.
She stated that they also aimed at sensitising community members about the increasing rate of malnutrition in the district as well as to raise awareness of public on their role towards child care and prevention of childhood diseases and conditions.
We also want to promote partnership in addressing child health related problems and to sensitise public about holistic approach to child health and to strengthen multi sectoral approach in addressing childhood and health related issues,” she said.
Dr Pone said another objective was to continue sensitising the community about activities involved in high impact child health intervention such as Immunisations, Vitamin A administration, De-worming and use of treated mosquito nets.
She pointed out that they will screen eligible children for services such as weighing and implement the high impact interventions normally taken care of during the month of May and November each year.
Source : BOPA
Source : Botswana Daily News