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Ministry of health holds symposium to empower adolescents as agents of change

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The Ministry of Health is holding its second health symposium with the aim of encouraging adolescents to be powerful agents for positive change in their societies in health.
The Kenya National Adolescent Health symposium being held at Safari Park Hotel on the 23 and 24 is ensuring that adolescents fully participate in developing themselves, their families, communities and the nation, towards harnessing the demographic dividend.
Organized by the Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health Unit in the Ministry of Health with the theme “Fast Tracking Adolescent Health for the demographic dividend: Adolescent Health now for a healthy, educated and economically growing population”
During the symposium, multisector investment is sought in order to yield a quadruple dividend; to the adolescent right now, in future, for the adolescents’ future generation and for the economies of their communities.
The objectives of the event is to also stimulate debate around a multisector approach to improving Adolescent Health through coordination and interaction of the health, education and financial sectors.
It is also expected to promote, scale up and replication of evidence-based interventions that are demonstrated to have worked in various settings including country implementation of the Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents guidelines.
The Ministry aims at identifying new approaches to adolescent health interventions and investments and to build partnerships and synergies across different disciplines together with adolescents.
In attendance will be policymakers, Ministry of health officials, development and implementation partners, regional, national and county representatives, academia, researchers, public and private practitioners and adolescents.
The topics to be covered will include Leadership and governance for Adolescent Health, Adolescent Health and Education, service delivery and Crosscutting Issues in Adolescent Health.

Adolescence is the period in human growth and development that occurs after childhood and before adulthood, from ages 10 to 19, where young adolescents are between the ages of 10-14 years and older adolescents are between the ages of 15-19 years.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, there are approximately 9.1 million adolescents between the ages of 10-19 years in Kenya which constitutes about 24 per cent of Kenya’s total population, a group the Ministry of Health is targeting.

How to identify a good psychologist

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coming-out-feature 300W_JRPeople seek professional psychologist, counselor or therapist for various reasons. However, caution should be taken when identifying which one to consult since many might not be qualified or many have hidden agent leading to exploitation and poor services. Here are five most important things to consider when selecting a psychologist according to Kenya Psychological Association.
Registration- Registration or license is the most important factor when looking for a psychologist. This is because there are many quacks who mascaraed as professionals and end up hearting patients. Make sure to research on the psychologist you settle for and ensure their licenses are valid and up to date.
Member of a professional body- Professional bodies play a very big role in a psychologist career. It indicates transparency and in case of anything one can reach the organization for complaints. Some organizations are mandated to license include Kenya Association of Professional Counsellors and Kenya Psychological Association.
Graduated from accredited institutions- Every qualified psychologist has passed through an institution of learning. Make sure they have the right education papers from an accredited institution.
Experience in practice- No one wants to be a trial subject for a new psychologist. Get someone with enough experience and has handling several patients in the past.
Referrals- Referrals are the best way to get a good psychologist. Although other factors are key. Referrals sometimes give the assurance and save one’s time from going through the process of looking for one.
According to the American Psychological Association, seek therapy if;
1. You have a consistent overwhelming and prolonged sense of helplessness and sadness, and your problems do not seem to get better despite your efforts and help from family and friends.
2. You are finding it difficult to carry out everyday activities: for example, you are unable to concentrate on assignments at work, and your job performance is suffering as a result.
3. You worry excessively, expect the worst or are constantly on edge.
4. Your actions are harmful to yourself or to others: for instance, you are drinking too much alcohol, abusing drugs or becoming overly argumentative and aggressive.

Talking to children about death of a parent

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Grieving ChildrenDeath is a taboo subject that many parents avoid discussing with their children. However, this uncomfortable topic becomes inevitable when a parent or close relative dies and failure to address it cautiously can affect kids with research saying children who don’t process the event can experience more depression, anxiety and low self-esteem in adulthood.
According to a book, Bereavement: Reactions, Consequences, and Care, the tendency to impose adult models on children has generally led to a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding about children's grieving leading to lack of care when handling children when death occurs.

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“The first stage to breaking the news is finding the right moment in terms of environment, mood and make sure there are no interruptions. Find out how the child is mentally and what they probably know so as to determine how much details you are willing to disclose to them,” says psychotherapist Jason McEvoy-Edwards.
Edward says caution should be taken when breaking such sensitive information to children and depending on their age one should make sure the child understand what you are saying to them by asking questions like do you understand what I am saying to you? What do you think about what I have told you?
Although there is no such thing as the right moment, he says ensuring you are in a calm environment and in the right mood will help you hold a conversation. Ensure you are very clear.
“It is important to be as transparent as possible whether it was an illness an accident. Give the child the capacity to understand and close to the truth as possible. Depending on how religious you are you can say the parent went to heaven but emphasize that they are not coming back,” he said.
Another important aspect while breaking the news is to give the child time to process the information while you are with them. This according to Edward enables the one giving the information to be emotionally there for the child no matter how they express themselves.
Although some children do not start to grieve until a year or so passes, it important to monitor their behavior, comfort them and give the assurance that things will be alright.
It is also advisable to seek professional help from a therapist, counselor or psychologists specialized with grief. Ensure they are licensed and are members of a professional organization.

Nestle Nutrition helps train 30 nurses to fight infant and maternal malnutrition

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Over 30 nurses and nutritionists from Kenya have successfully completed a seven-month Post-Graduate Program in Pediatric Nutrition (PGPN) course in a bid to help bridge the gap between pediatric nutrition and infant malnutrition.
The course offered in association with Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and supported by Nestlé Nutrition Institute is meant to address the rising cases of infant and maternal malnutrition in the country.

This was from the realization that proper nutrition in the first 1000 days has a profound impact on the child’s ability to grow, learn and thrive and has a lasting impact on long-term health, Pediatric nutrition is a rapidly evolving area where new scientific advances are occurring at a rapid pace.

“In order to help keep healthcare professionals up-to-date on the evolving science, Nestlé provided funding to develop a dedicated global program entitled “Post Graduate Program in Pediatric Nutrition (PGPN).” The program has been developed in partnership with MedInscribe and BUSM, a leader in medical education and research, with MedInscribe providing logistical support,” said Ciru Mirung’u, Managing Director at Nestlé East Africa.

Over 100 healthcare professionals drawn from Kenyan public and private universities have gone through the programme boosting their ability to integrate pediatric nutrition into clinical practice to help in the fight against infant mortality and malnutrition.

According to Kenya Demographic Healthy Survey 2014, infant mortality rate is 39 deaths per 1,000 live births and under-five mortality rate is 52 deaths per 1,000 live births while 26% of children under 5 are stunted (too short for age).

“It is our hope that the healthcare professionals who have successfully gone through all the modules in this program, will apply the knowledge obtained in this course to not only help address some of these challenges but also ensure that every pregnant mother delivers a healthy baby and that the children grow healthy and strong to participate in nation building,” said Miring’u.

According to Miring’u this program offers a unique opportunity to strengthen healthcare professionals’ knowledge and practice in pediatric nutrition by familiarizing them with evidence-based guidelines and recommendations through a series of online learning modules, delivered in various formats including text, video, and audio.
The final stage of education is presented in a series of live meetings delivered in various locations worldwide.

The Kenya Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic surgeons to hold free cleft surgery camp at the Kangundo Level 4 hospital.

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IMG 20171119_160349 2The Kenya Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic surgeons will from 29th November-1st December 2017 hold a free cleft surgery camp at the Kangundo Level 4 hospital.

In Kenya approximately one in every 500 Kenyan child born annually is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate however only a few of them undergo surgery to correct the condition because parents lack awareness.

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Cleft lip and cleft palate is a condition whereby a split is formed on the upper lip forming a gap that lengthens to the nose. It occurs during pregnancy and if not treated early the child will develop difficulty in speech development, breathing, drinking and eating as they age.

“The first three months of a pregnancy are a critical time for a growing fetus: In addition to many other developments taking place throughout the body, the structure of the mouth and face also begins to take shape. Normally, at around the fifth or sixth week, the two sides of a baby’s upper lip begin to fuse together. Sometimes, though, the fusing does not happen the right way and the upper lip is split, or cleft,” reported the Boston’s Children Hospital in its investigation on the condition.

“A child with a cleft lip has a visible separation in the skin of her top lip. This space can be a small hole, or it can be a significant opening that extends from the base of the baby’s nose all the way down to her top jaw and gums. Between the eighth and twelfth weeks of pregnancy, the roof of a baby’s mouth begins to form.”

In a bid to raise awareness of the condition, other organizations such as Smile Train, have partnered with various hospitals around the country such as Gertrude’s hospital, Nyeri county referral hospital, Jordan hospital in Kitui, Nairobi East hospital in Kitui and Embu referral hospital among others to conducting free surgeries.

Smile Train, is an organization that performs over 1000 free surgeries every year on children with the condition in a bid to give them a smile.
For the Kenya Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic surgeons camp, screening of patients is currently ongoing at the hospital and for more information they can be reached on: 0722841904

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