During this past month in April, a training on the management of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) took place at the Lawra District Hospital for members of staff. The training was facilitated by Ms. Patience Gaa, the nutrition officer in charge of the daily operations of the Lawra nutrition center, and three regional experts on SAM from the Upper West Region. This training was the second training on the management of malnutrition in children but the first to be held onsite at the Lawra District Hospital. The first training was held at the Maternal and Child Health Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana and was attended by Ms. Gaa and two nurses from the Lawra hospital. The Lawra Nutrition Center is modeled after the program in Kumasi and so this first training was instrumental in providing the skills necessary to make the Lawra Nutrition Center a success. That, combined with the experience Ms. Gaa has gained since the nutrition center opened in October of 2013, gave her the confidence and ability to help facilitate this most recent training in Lawra. The training used a variety of methods of instruction, including reading, written exercises, discussions, role play, video, demonstration, and practice in a real inpatient care facility to give health care providers adequate skills on the management of severe acute malnutrition. It was attended by 11 members from the various units of the Lawra District Hospital, including 9 nurses, a midwife and a medical assistant. This group will act as a “trainer of trainees” in which they can now train additional health care providers in their respective wards. They were instructed on the impact of malnutrition in children, how to identify and manage a child with malnutrition in addition to other medical conditions, how to prepare therapeutic food, and how to educate mothers on proper nutrition at home.
We are so excited to have been a small part in making this training a reality and seeing how the nutrition center continues to increase its impact! Below are a few pictures from the 6 day training.