The Kenya Paediatric Nurses Chapter (KPNC) in partnership with Nestlé Nutrition Institute Africa (NNIA) has kicked off a sequel to last year’s programme that will see the training of the second cohort of nurses on promoting healthy nutrition in the crucial first 1,000 days for newborns.
This follows the successful launch of the programme to equip pediatric and midwifery nurses with knowledge and skills in the ‘First 1000 Days’ of a child’s life in March last year.
This year’s programme which targets 200 nurses drawn from private and public hospitals across Nairobi aims to translate the latest science into practical nutrition and feeding advice. This will equip Kenyan nurses and midwives with the knowledge to help mothers and babies reach their full potential and live a healthy productive life.
Speaking about the second Nurses Academy event in Nairobi, KPNC Chairperson Consolata Kalafa said the annual course is already playing a great role in helping the country address cases of infant mortality and malnutrition, boosting their ability to integrate pediatric nutrition into clinical practice to help in the fight against infant mortality and malnutrition.
According to the Kenya Demographic Health Survey 2014, the infant mortality rate is 39 deaths per 1000 live births and the under-five mortality rate is 52 deaths per 1000 live births while 26% of children under 5 are stunted (too short for age)
The course is conducted by distinguished experts and contains four modules namely: Epigenetics and Metabolic Programming, Synergistic Combination of nutrients in influencing physical growth and milestones in children, Impact of Nutrition on Early Child Cognitive and Visual Development and Probiotics and Health.
These aim at bridging the knowledge gap in pediatric nutrition as a means of addressing the rising cases of infant and maternal malnutrition in the country. This is with the realization that proper nutrition in the first 1000 days has a profound impact on the child’s ability to grow, learn and thrive and has a lasting impact on long-term health.
Kenya Paediatric Nurses Chapter, Chairperson, Sister Consolata Kalafa has thanked the Nestlé Nutrition Institute Africa and Wyeth Nutrition Science Center for keeping their word in ensuring the continuity of the Programme.”
This Programme goes far beyond developing standard skill and competencies for nutritional and lifestyle counseling: it will bring the healthcare professional latest research findings directly transferrable into clinical decision making by consolidating the most current evidence base deriving from our partners leading position in early nutrition and lifestyle and to be incorporated in their day-to-day patient evaluation and counseling.”-she said
According to UNICEF, a baby is expected to double its birth weight by 5-6 months and triple it by its first birthday. As this happens, motor and behavioral skills are developing alongside these incredible physical growth. It is during this period that the foundations of optimum health, growth, and neurodevelopment are established for the rest of the lifespan. UNICEF, therefore, recommends optimal nutrition – for both the mother and the infant – as the most critical aspect during these first 1000 days.
Upon completion of the training, each nurse will receive a certificate as well as Eight (8) Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points which helps them with their career development.