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HealthPhone™: Part 2 - Severe Acute Malnutrition - Community Mobilization

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Community mobilization

Community mobilization.

For the implementation of your Out-patient Therapeutic Programme you will need to ensure that the community that you serve is aware of the therapeutic feeding services that you are providing and feels comfortable with bringing children to be screened and to take part in the programme.

For this to happen, you will need to do an effective community mobilization before starting and during your OTP Programme with your volunteer community health workers.

We are an SNMPR region, Alaba Special Woreda and volunteer community health workers are explaining about the opening of an OTP and a health post to the community leaders.

The community leaders and the community volunteer health workers have agreed in arranging a meeting with the community, to inform of the opening of the OTP and the health post and to do the pre-screening for malnutrition.

The volunteer community health workers, with the community leaders, go round the gote and inform the community to bring the under-five children for pre-screening at the center of the gote in the coming day.

During the community meeting, the volunteer community health worker elaborates the causes of malnutrition for the community, stating that severe acute malnutrition is mainly caused by inadequate food intake and/or illness.

Severe acute malnutrition can be effectively treated at the health post level and Alaba health post has already opened an OTP to treat the cases.

In order to identify children with severe acute malnutrition, MUAC measurements should be taken and presence of edema should be checked.

Any suspected cases of severe acute malnutrition should be sent to the health post with referrals slips for further evaluation and treatment.

The volunteer community health worker is doing the pre-screening and those children with MUAC measurements of greater or equal 11 centimeters and no edema are sent to their homes.

The volunteer community health worker has found a child with mid-upper arm circumference of less than 11 centimeters, but the child has no pitting edema.

He will then inform the mother to take the child to Alaba health post for futher evaluation and treatment.

He also provides the mother with a referral slip and the mother agrees to take the child to the health post.

The volunteer community health worker has also found a child with edema.

He checked for edema by pressing his thumbs into the swollen foot of the child.

Thumbs leave indented marks and this is a sign of severe malnutrition.

The volunteer community health worker refers the child for further sceerning and treatment at the health post.

Home visits are good opportunities to identify children who missed the pre-screening during the community meeting.

During the home visit, the volunteer community health worker identifies one child who missed the previous pre-screening.

The mid-upper arm circumference of the child is measured and it is less than 11 centimeters and he has no edema. He informs the mother to take the child to the health post and provides her a referral slip.

The mother agrees and takes the child to the health post.

It is important that families in your community understand that treatment for malnutrition is not an indication for social status or wealth.

They should feel comfortable with bringing any child whom they suspect that may be malnurished to be screened.

Families should bring their children to the health post for further screening and treatment and they should be well informed not to be afraid or think it is a curse, but that it is treatable and that the chances of their children of surving are high.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 55 seconds
Year: 2009
Country: Ethiopia
Language: English
Producer: Federal Ministry of Health and UNICEF, Ethiopia
Views: 1,343
Posted by: nand on Feb 12, 2012

Intended for Health Extension Workers (HEW) on how to do screening for malnutrition, how to identify Severe Acute Malnutrition cases; and how to conduct Out-Patient Therapeutic Programme for SAM in order to maximize the coverage and improve the quality of services provided to SAM cases at the community level.

Management of Severe Acute Malnutrition and Out Patient Therapeutic Program Training Material - Federal Ministry of Health and UNICEF, Ethiopia

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