Better healthcare from the cradle!

TRHA nurses participate in Anthropometry Training which included a refresher on how to measure the length of a child (L) and retraining on weighing mother and child, including how to tare the scale and cradle the child, to obtain the correct weight (R)

Approximately 54 nurses of the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) were retrained in Anthropometry on October 29th and 30th, 2018. The sessions were conducted at the Scarborough General Hospital by staff of the TRHA Primary Care Nutrition Unit.

What is Anthropometry? It is the use of body measurements - head circumference, chest measurement, height, weight, body measurements including skinfolds, girth, and breadth for purposes of assessing growth and body fat distribution - to assist in the assessment of one’s nutritional status and disease risk.

In children, the correct measurement, plotting and interpretation are essential for identifying growth challenges such as obesity, under nutrition and other structural medical developments. Anthropometry indices in adults are used to evaluate health, dietary status and reduce disease risk.

Kathy-Ann Greenidge-Ottley, TRHA’s Primary Care Nurse Manager said, “This retraining exercise is noteworthy because it will bring us in line with the other Regional Health Authorities and up to par with international standards for body measurements developed by the World Health Organization (WHO). Traditionally, when persons think about their health, they think about blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol level. Nutrition, as an important aspect of health promotion and disease prevention, is often not taken into consideration and this is key to reducing the incidence of non-communicable diseases on the island,” said Mrs. Greenidge-Ottley.

The tools acquired will facilitate the capturing of more accurate data. This, in turn, will allow TRHA’s health professionals to more easily identify abnormal patterns in growth and development in infants, detect the need for early interventions and, where necessary, issue referrals to the TRHA Nutrition Unit.

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