Twenty-one Nurses and Nurse Aides from Clinics and Health Centres around south Malaita are currently attending a week long training workshop on World Health Organizations (WHO) Growth Monitoring and Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) in Afio.

The WHO Growth Monitoring and IYCF is a new strategy that was developed by WHO and UNICEF to revitalize world attention on the impact that feeding practices have on infants and young children.

The previous growth monitoring of children involves only measuring the weight against the age. The new WHO growth monitoring strategy involves measuring children’s weight and length or height against age. Measurements are then compared to growth standard to determine whether child is growing normally, has a growth problem or trend towards a problem.

Nurses will use the Child Growth Record book which contains all of the charts needed to record and assess the growth of a child from birth up to 5 years of age. Two different Growth Record books are needed for boys and girls because boys and girls have different weights and lengths beginning at birth.

“I am very fortunate to come and attend this IYCF and WHO Growth Monitoring workshop as this will really help improve my knowledge and skills to carry out my work effectively in my catchment area especially in terms of properly monitoring children’s growth,” says Anna Barbara Saru, Registered Nurse, Heukesia Aidpost.

This group of nurses are the second lot of nurses in Solomon Islands to receive the training. However the training is the first of its kind according to the facilitators of the training as it is carried out in partnership with World Vision.

“We are so pleased to come and run this training and would like to thank World Vision who organised and made these training possible for all our nurses in South Malaita as this new strategy is something we plan to train all nurses by the end of this year so that nurses can be able to use this method starting next year, 2014,” said Mr. John Muaki, Director of Maluu School of Nursing and IYCF Instructor.

World Vision is implementing a Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition project in 15 communities in South Malaita with the goal that Children (0-5years), pregnant and lactating women in 15 villages of South Malaita enjoy good health and are adequately nourished according to international MCHN standards.

World Vision also has Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition Projects in Makira, Temotu and Weather coast of Guadalcanal Province.