Identifying childhood diarrhoea training needs of Nigerian frontline health care workers
Background: Health education and case management are important in the reduction of morbidity and mortality resulting from childhood diarrhoea.
Objective: To identify the training needs of health care workers as a measure of their empowerment to fulfil their roles in the control of childhood diarrhoea.
Methods: This cross-sectional, descriptive study utilized a self-administered pre-tested questionnaire to obtain demographic information, knowledge about diarrhoea, features of dehydration, management, and prevention of diarrhoea from 165 health care workers drawn from the 18 local government areas of Edo state.
Results: Only 24 (14.5%) of health care workers could correctly define diarrhoea. Majority of respondents could identify features of dehydration: thirst 161 (97%), loss of skin turgor 149 (90.3%) and irritability 142 (86.1%) but 93 (56.4%) and 52 (31.5%) did not know that unconsciousness and passage of small volume/no urine respectively were features of dehydration. Only 15 (9.1%) could correctly constitute Salt Sugar Solution (SSS). Up to 42.2% of health workers use antibiotics regularly to manage childhood diarrhoea while another 48.8% considered the use of antibiotics during the diarrhoeal episode a preventive strategy.
Conclusion: Frontline health care workers need periodic training and retraining with consistent supportive supervision to ensure that children with diarrhoea are appropriately evaluated and managed.
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