ROLE OF LHWS IN PROVISION OF NUTRITIONAL SERVICES IN CHILDREN UNDER 5 IN PERI URBAN AREAS OF KARACHI
Joint Event on World Congress on EPIDEMIOLOGY AND PUBLIC HEALTH & International Conference on TROPICAL MEDICINE, INFECTIOUS DISEASES & PUBLIC HEALTH
December 12 -13 , 2018 | Abu Dhabi ,UAE
Aga Khan University, Pakistan
Posters & Accepted Abstracts : Arch Gen Intern Med
Globally, one of the major risk factors for child morbidity and mortality is considered to be malnutrition. Malnutrition is attributable for nearly half of all deaths in children under 5 years of age and every year there is a loss of about 3 million lives unnecessary. However, studies have shown that Lady Health Worker (LHW) plays an important role and can deliver nutrition services to underserved populations, despite the fact that working in a weak health system is a challenge for LHW to provide services. The exploratory qualitative research design was used for the research. Our target populations were mothers, LHWs and the nutritional expert, behavior change communication expert (BCC), LHW program experts, field officer, and lady health supervisor. The data collection methods that were used for the study were focus group discussion (FGDs) and key informant interviews (KIIs). The analysis of this study reveals that LHWs are not skill-trained to address the nutritional component according to their mandates. The main associated factors from the health care provider perspective were found to be lack of intersectoral approach that is the integration of the LHW program with the other vertical program, low morale of LHWs, knowledge gap among the LHWs, lack of awareness among the community, beliefs of the community and excessive workload. From mothers perspective; inappropriate communication, unavailability of logistics are the factors that affect the performance of LHWs. It was concluded that training of the LHWs on the nutritional services is an issue. Thus, LHWs are unable to provide their services to the community. In this regards implementation and coordination among the stakeholders, continuous education and awareness for the community and LHWs, overcoming the logistic issue are the key solutions for improving the role of LHWs and quality of nutrition services.