Nutritional Rehabilitation Center, Nepal

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Nutritional Rehabilitation Center, Nepal is a specialized facility that rehabilitates severely malnourished children. It is run by the organisation Friends of Needy Children (FNC) and funded by the Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF). It strives to restore malnourished children to good health and educates their mothers about nutrition and child care.[1] It works with the zonal hospitals in Nepal, nourishing the children that the hospitals refer to the organisation.[2] After the rehabilitation homes are firmly established, the Nepal Youth Foundation hands them over to the government after five years of operation.[3]
Currently there are rehabilitation homes in 12 districts of Nepal, five of which are run by the government. The Center has its headquarters in Kathmandu and the rest of the centers are located throughout the country, in different districts.[3]

History

The malnutrition rate in Nepal is very high with 50% of children below five years of age malnourished and 39% underweight. This is amongst the highest malnutrition rates in the world.[4] The nutrition awareness among the Nepalese is very low which contributes to the high rate of malnourishment in the country.[5]
Nutritional Rehabilitation Health (NRH) was initiated as a project by Olga Murray, the president of Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF) in 1998 A.D. She was motivated to launch this when she visited a malnourished five year old girl in Kanti Hospital, who later died due to negligence of the hospital.[6]
The project was initially started near Kanti Children's Hospital, Kathmandu. The malnourished children were brought to the organization from Kanti Hospital. On April 27, 2012, NRH shifted to Sunakothi, Lalitpur. NRH has maintained a good coordination with the government, and health facilities such as local health Posts, District Public Health Office and Child Health Division and has succeeded in saving over 1000 children per year in Nepal.[7]

Objectives

In Nepal, children under the age of five face many developmental challenges. Proper early childhood development is hindered by exposure to infectious diseases, malnutrition, poor hygiene and sanitation and lack of a healthy environment.[8] The Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes of the NYF aims to fight these developmental challenges caused by malnutrition and lack of education of their mothers. Though treating the malnourished children is their primary objective, the rehabilitation homes also work towards the education and development of their mothers or caretakers and the subsequent education of other women in the child’s residential village through the mother.[9] The rehabilitation home also facilitates children who are in need of surgery but are too weak to have one. [10]

Facilities

Nutritional Rehabilitation Home (NRH) focuses on the development of malnourished children. It accommodates the malnourished children and their parents during the period of recovery. There are cases where the health of the mother is as critical. In such cases, NRH provides them with proper health recovery.The mothers are also taught about hygiene, family planning and to recognize the symptoms of serious illness in their children.[3]
In general, the NRH provides the admitted children proper health monitoring. This is done by managing a sufficient diet with nutrition and plenty of fluids. Nursing care is given at all times. Children who have not been given vaccinations are vaccinated in NRH. In 2010 during the month of September, 14 children were administered TT, 23 were administered the MMR vaccine and 30 children received vaccine against Meningitis. The children admitted are weighed on a daily basis and the mother is kept well-informed about the progress.[3] On average, NRH spends around 340USD in improving the health, saving the lives of children, and in providing guidance to the children’s mothers.[3]

Outreach Programs

Occasionally, NRH conducts educational camps in the rural areas of Nepal. These camps are around three days long. The camp targets to spread adequate knowledge amongst children under the age of 10.[11] One such camp was organized on 29 October 2012. Projects Abroad sponsored an outreach camp in Dukuchapp just outside of Patan. The camp had 15 NRH staffs and 7 volunteers that helped educate and identify children who could benefit from being at NRH. The target group was children from 5- 14 yrs. A total number of around 320 children and parents came for the education and check up.[12]

Dietician Training for Health Professionals

Training was conducted from September 23 to October 2, 2012 that aimed to build the capacity of the district hospitals. The core components of the training were for basic knowledge of nutrition, management of diet for specific age groups and physical status and managing the acute and chronic malnutrition. Later, a follow up of the participants in their respective workplaces, was conducted by the manager of Kathmandu NRH and the Nutrition Coordinator for Nepal Youth Foundation. Results showed that the participants were effectively implementing the training content in their workplaces (hospitals and NRHs) by sharing the training content with the hospital management team and the staff.[3]

Shortcomings

The foremost drawback of this program would be its limited capacity. According to a progress report done in October 2012, it can only house 24 malnourished children and their caretakers at any particular instant.[3] This poses a problem when the patient inflow exceeds the available space. The funding of the program comes primarily from the government but in-case the program expands out into areas the government may not support, then the program will have to seek out other options as far as funds are concerned[13]

References

  1. "About NRH". http://nrhkathmandu.wix.com/nepal#!__about-nrh. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  2. "Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes". http://www.nepalyouthfoundation.org/programs/nutrition-rehabilitation-homes/7/. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Parker, Teresa. "Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes are Saving Lives". http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/help-malnourished-children/updates/?subid=24911. Retrieved 30 April 2013.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Teresa Parker" defined multiple times with different content
  4. "Nutrition in Nepal:A National Development Priority". http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2012/05/08/000333037_20120508002841/Rendered/PDF/683780WP0P1235000Nutrition0in0Nepal.pdf. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  5. Parker, Teresa. "Rescue Children Suffering from Severe Malnutrition". http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/help-malnourished-children/updates/. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  6. "Nutritional Rehabilitation Center". http://olgaspromise.org/about/projects-2/healthcare/nutritional-rehabilitation-homes/. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  7. "Nutritional Rehabilitation Home". http://www.fncnepal.org/fnc-projects-2/nrh/. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  8. "Child Health". Nepal Demographic and Health Survey 2011: 147. March 2012. http://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/FR257/FR257%5B13April2012%5D.pdf. 
  9. Nepal Youth Foundation. "Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes: Sustainable Nutritional Education & Treatment". http://www.changemakers.com/nutrition/entries/nutritional-rehabilitation-homes-sustainable. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  10. Sandersfeld, Anna Lena. "Medicine & Healthcare, Physical Therapy in Nepal". http://www.projects-abroad.org/more-info/volunteer-stories/?content=medicine-and-healthcare/physical-therapy/nepal/anna-lena-sandersfeld/. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  11. "Community Outreach Program". http://nrhkathmandu.wix.com/nepal#!__community-outreach. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  12. Malthouse, Ruth. "Nutritional Rehabilitation Home Outreach in Dukachhap". http://www.mytripblog.org/pg/blog/nepal-social-manager/read/16005/nrh-outreach-camp-blog-nutritional-rehabilitation-home-outreach-in-dukuchapp-lalitpur-by-physio-coordinator-ruth-malthouse. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  13. Tully, Gregg. "Discussion about entry: Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes: Sustainable Nutritional Education & Treatment". http://www.changemakers.com/nutrition/entries/nutritional-rehabilitation-homes-sustainable/discussion#comment-20567. Retrieved 1 May 2013.