The Ministry of Health Agriculture Sports and Human Services welcomes representatives from the Caribbean Public Health Agency to the Turks and Caicos Islands, June 10th–14th 2019 to conduct Nutrition Surveillance Workshop
The Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services (MoHASHS) welcomes Dr. Kimberly Ashby-Mitchell and Mrs. Christine Bocage, Senior Technical Officer’s for Food Security and Nutrition from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for two, two-day workshops on Nutrition Surveillance and development of the New Child Clinic records. The purpose of the workshop on nutrition surveillance is to train health care providers, particularly those with focus on assessment of the young child (age 0-5 years), in the application of the revised WHO standards for the child’s growth and development record.
In 2006, the World Health Organization released a new growth chart throughout the Caribbean region to provide information and tools for parents, and health care professionals alike to recognize sup-optimal and excessive weight gain in children. The collection and analysis of this data will help stakeholders to improve programme planning for prevention and management of nutrition in children. Previously, the data collected was based solely on children living in the United States of America (USA) who were formula fed.
This new standard of data collection uses breastfed children from all regions of the world as the gold standard for comparison. In addition, the workshop seeks to train trainers in the collection, collation, reporting and use of nutrition surveillance data. “The goal of CARPHA and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is to continue their efforts to improve the generation of accurate surveillance data that will be used for planning and evaluation of existing programmes on child health.”The second session focused on the development of a new child health record for the Turks and Caicos Islands. This new record will collect data that is more comprehensive from each child.
Approximately 25 health care professionals participated in this four-day session including nurses, nutritionists/dietitians, nurse educators, primary care physicians, pediatrician, dentist and the Chief Nursing Officer/Primary Health Care Manager (CNO/PHCM). Commenting on the training, Mrs. Bocage, CARPHA’s Senior Technical Officer for Food Security and Nutrition stated that; “The WHO New Growth Standards were released in 2006 but the charts are not currently in use in the TCI. This training was conducted to ensure standardization of measurements and to demonstrate and practice the correct techniques so that the information charted will be accurate for interpretation. These charts will be incorporated in the new Child Clinic Records which were drafted over a two-day period with the assistance of the facilitators. The draft document prepared will be further revised in a small selected working group; finalized and circulated for comments. It is hoped that this document will be pre-tested; piloted and finalized by the end of December 2019”.
The CNO/PHCM thanked the consultants and the participants for their attendance at the workshop which is timely, and a step in the right direction towards strengthening child health services throughout the TCI. Those who have received this training will impart this knowledge to those in their respective clinics. Upon completion and dissemination of the Child Health Records/Cards, there will be periodic follow up by the CNO/PHCM to ensure that the newly developed record is utilized in all participating clinics.Special thanks were extended to the Coordinators of this workshop Nurse Alrisa Gardiner, Senior Public Health Nurse/EPI manager and Mrs. Lakeisha Wilson, Nutritionist.