World Child Cancer is supporting a Nutrition Education Programme in Myanmar in collaboration with Erin Gordon, Senior Clinical Nutrition Specialist of Boston Children’s Hospital. Erin ran two webinar sessions in the month of October. The webinars were available to doctors and healthcare staff, including nurses and medical students at Yangon Children Hospital and Mandalay Children Hospital.
The webinars covered fundamentals of paediatric nutrition, and nutrition assessment and monitoring. The two sessions were deemed an effective alternative to special nutrition programmes in the ward and allowed healthcare staff to ask questions and better understand individual needs.
Paediatric Nutrition Fundamentals
Session one outlined the importance of nutrition within paediatric oncology, the impact and the definitions of malnutrition. The webinar also drew on malnutrition symptoms, diagnosis and treatment and the importance of early identification using nutrition screening.
Nutrition Assessment and Monitoring
In session two, Erin covered physical exam methods/ assessment, the effects of disease and treatment on nutrition consumption in patients. This session also identified common nutrition education strategies and emphasised the importance of short and long-term nutrition monitoring.
The Need for Nutrition Education
Feedback collected from the two hospitals outlined a clear need for nutrition education and monitoring. Indeed, both under and over-nutrition have adverse consequences on the outcome of childhood cancer. However, due to the busy schedules of doctors and healthcare staff and the lack of resources, the hospitals are unable to appoint specialised nutritionists.
Feedback from both hospitals demonstrated the need for the workshops to continue in the future to provide further education in terms of understanding the impact of nutrition among cancer patients.
Hearing the news that your child has cancer is devastating. With your help, World Child Cancer is able to provide financial and emotional support to children and their families at diagnosis and beyond, to limit the damage cancer causes.
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