Training Needs Assessment
Training Needs Assessment under Stop Diarrhoea Initiative
The seven-point programme released by the WHO-UNICEF looks at various aspects of addressing this problem right from prevention, management of the disease as well as scaling up various interventions at the country level in order to ensure that diarrhoea does not continue to be a leading cause of death for children under five.
This study captures the diarrhoea management practices that are prevalent among health care workers, both in the public and private sector, across various urban and rural centres in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Kolkata and Delhi. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions were held with a wide variety of health care workers such as ASHAs, ANMs, LHVs, AWWs, pharmacists, medical officers and private practitioners to understand their knowledge and practices with regard to diarrhoea among children under five.
Key findings of this study suggest that health care providers both in urban and rural areas have some idea about how to manage the incidence of diarrhoea among children there are several areas that call for action and improvement. The variation in treatment of diarrhoea and the higher reliance on antibiotics in the private sector as well as the lack of knowledge on standard treatment protocols issued by the Government of India and international bodies such as the WHO-UNICEF points to an urgent need for training and supportive supervision for health care workers to ensure children under five suffering from diarrhoeal diseases are provide with appropriate and standardized treatment and care across both urban and rural settings. Further, the need to improve awareness among community members in order to prevent the incidence of diarrhoea by focussing on healthy behaviours as well as the need for IEC material for health workers engaged in such awareness building work was highlighted. Finally the lack of training across various categories of health care workers meant that most of them functioned without dated knowledge and skills.
Diarrhoeal diseases among children under five need not remain a major cause of mortality among them and our study points to the fact that with adequate skill based training on standard treatment protocols, up gradation of knowledge and the use of appropriate materials for improving awareness among the community we will be able to make large strides in this area ultimately improving new born and child health.