An adequate well-balanced diet with a proper growth monitoring is the bedrock of child survival, health and development. Well-nourished children with a regular assessment are more likely to be healthy, productive, and ready to learn. Undernutrition, by the same logic, is devastating. It blunts the intellect, saps productivity, and perpetuates poverty.
Ethiopia has seen a steady reduction in stunting from 58 per cent in 2000 to 38 per cent in 2016, in the percentage of underweight children from 41 per cent to 24 per cent during the same period, and in wasting from 12 per cent to 10 per cent. These trends indicate an improvement in chronic malnutrition over the past 15 years. Yet 28 per cent of child deaths in Ethiopia are associated with under-nutrition.
In order to achieve a better child survival through an appropriate assessment of feeding and anthropometry there is a great need for a continuous capacity building of service providers involved in the care of newborn and pre-term infants. Since reaching health service providers with traditional forms of capacity building might take more time and the need to leave their workplaces, innovative online trainings are very helpful in saving time and reaching a larger segment of the health workforce. In line with this an online training course on INTERGROWTH-21st: Assessing newborn size by Anthropometry, and INTERPRACTICE 21st: Assessing preterm infant feeding and growth monitoring was organized for service providers, trainers and program managers at Mekele and Hawassa universities with support from the Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research (GFMER).
A total of 40 participants (14 from Mekele University on May 21, 2019, and 26 from Hawassa university on May 24, 2019) attended the whole day online training. In both sites a one-hour lunch break was provided before they complete the last module of the online training. Among the 40 participants 11 were female which accounts for 27.5%. Participants were service providers from delivery units, Newborn Intensive Care Units (NICU), instructors of nursing and midwife schools, and program managers working in maternal and newborn care projects. At the end of the training all participants were given the certificate of attendance and most were able to get their online electronic certificates by achieving the 80% mark for each of the final quizzes.