Dr. Lyly Masengo, head of paediatrics at the Bumbu Mother and Child Centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo, tells us how the care management of children has improved.
The prevention and early detection of disability depends on the quality of care children receive. This is why HI is helping build the capacities of care staff in the paediatric department of the Bumbu Mother and Child Centre, one of HI’s partners. The centre welcomes some 100 children a month.
According to Dr Masengo, Handicap International’s training has improved the childcare practices of healthcare providers.
The follow-up of children's psychomotor development has been integrated into the care protocol for all children. This new practice enables healthcare providers to detect developmental abnormalities in children at an early stage and refer them to the appropriate rehabilitation service.
"Before Handicap International, the emphasis was on treating the child's medical problem rather than the psychomotor dimension,” adds Dr Masengo.
The training given to healthcare staff at the Bumbu Mother and Child Centre by HI’s teams has produced encouraging results. Most children receiving emergency care now survive. "The community trusts us more and the reputation of the Mother and Child Centre has gone beyond the boundaries of Bumbu district, and we now receive more and more children for emergencies from neighbouring districts," says Dr. Masengo.
A three-colour wristband system has been implemented to optimize patient management. The red wristband is for children to resuscitate in an emergency, the yellow wristband is for sick children who need to be closely monitored, and the green wristband is for children whose lives are not in danger. These simple practices are saving lives.
Despite improvements in patient management at the Bumbu Mother and Child Centre, many families receiving care at the centre are disadvantaged and struggle to pay hospital fees.
Since 2017, HI has implemented a Mother and Child Health (MCH) project in several areas of DRC and encourages communities to take inclusive action on impairment prevention and detection. It also aims to improve the quality of MCH care in general referral hospitals (HGR) and health centres, and to enhance access to healthcare for pregnant women and children under five.