Training organised to improve the identification of respiratory distress in children under 5
19 July 2021 | Informations
In Niger, the AIRE project launched in June a series of training sessions for health workers in the use of the pulse oximeter (PO) in the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI), an essential tool for the diagnosis of low blood oxygen levels, which is one of the main causes of death in children suffering from respiratory infections. This diagnostic tool will increase the chances of survival for more than 10,000 under-five children in Niger who are too often under-diagnosed.
Indeed, despite the progress made in child health in West Africa, poor identification of severe cases at the primary health centre level and lack of referral to hospitals remain important factors contributing to the high level of child mortality observed in the region.
With the support of the Ministry of Public Health and the Directorate of Mother and Child Health, the Unitaid-funded AIRE project aims firstly to introduce the pulse oximeter in 40 health centres supported by the project in Niamey (Niamey IV Health District) and Dosso (Dosso Health District) to demonstrate the usefulness of this tool in improving the management of respiratory distress in children under 5 years of age.
These trainings come after a thorough review of training and health reference tools to integrate the use of pulse oximeters in the management of childhood diseases in Niger. In total, by the end of August, 120 health workers will be trained and will in turn be able to use the pulse oximeter correctly during consultations, interpret pulse oximeter data and put into practice the IMCI (Integrated Management of Childhood Illness) strategy recommended by WHO and UNICEF to reduce child mortality worldwide.
” This intervention will contribute to improving our District’s child health indicators. I myself am part of the pool of trainers, trained by Solthis to strengthen the technical skills of health workers in the use of the pulse oximeter.” Dr Mamane LOUALY, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the Dosso Health District, participant in the training
” I am pleased with the integration of the pulse oximeter in the children’s consultation. It will allow us to better detect serious cases and to refer them quickly to the care centre. ” Talhatou ALI, Major Sambera Integrated Health Centre, Dosso
Coordinated by the NGO ALIMA and financed by Unitaid, the AIRE project is implemented in 4 countries by a consortium of global health actors: Alima in Guinea and Mali; Solthis in Niger, the Terre des hommes-Lausanne Foundation in Burkina Faso and in 1 district in Mali, and Inserm as leader of the research component of the project. UNICEF, WHO and other technical and financial partners supporting the country are also involved in the implementation of the project.