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Projects That Work: 2017 Winners

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The fifth annual Projects That Work forum took place at the 2017 conference of The Network: Towards Unity for Health (TUFH), which was held in conjunction with the World Summit on Social Accountability, April 8-12, 2017, in Hammamet, Tunisia. The competition showcased projects that had successfully addressed missions related to the 2017 conference theme, Improving the Impact of Educational Institutions on People’s Health, for three years or longer. An open worldwide call resulted in 27 submissions from which six projects (including one deferred from 2016) were selected by an international panel of 20 reviewers. Descriptions of the projects follow.


The Interprofessional Collaborative Care Project

Jana Muller
The Avian Park Service Learning Centre (APSLC) is a project initiated through the Rural Clinical School of Stellenbosch University, funded by donations and located in the disenfranchised community of Avian Park. The APSLC started in 2011 in a container with only one undergraduate professional student group attending to chronic patients. It has grown to five containers hosting undergraduate health and social science students from seven different professions as well as an NGO that offers TB DOTS and chronic medication dispensing. The students, under supervision of academic clinical staff, manage patients with chronic diseases and rehabilitative needs. There are also seven community-engaged student service learning projects in Avian Park that are based on needs identified by the community. Sustainable community-based projects have evolved as a result of some of the findings from this project, such as a student-run rehabilitation clinic, a support group for patients with neurological impairments and disability, and a therapy garden for sheltered work experience and community engagement..

Presenter: Jana Muller, Lecturer, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

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Inclusion of Pediatric Palliative Care in School of Medicine Courses

Mercedes Bernadá
In Uruguay, as in all of Latin America, pediatric palliative care (PPC) development is scarce. In 2008, the first interdisciplinary PPC program in Uruguay was started in the main pediatric public hospital. In order to expand PPC principles, knowledge, and abilities to other pediatricians and pediatric professionals, a course for pediatric residents was developed in 2009. In 2011 it was institutionalized as a mandatory course for 60-80 pediatric residents each year. In 2013, an optional interdisciplinary Palliative Care course curriculum was developed in association with an Adult Palliative Care Unit for undergraduate students of the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Psychology, and Social Work and presented to the authorities of the schools involved. Since 2014, 70 advanced students across these disciplines have undergone the course each year. Since project implementation, PPC has been included in the Uruguayan educational agenda for formal university courses and continuous medical education programs.

Presenter: Mercedes Bernadá, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Director of the Pediatric Palliative Care Unit of the Pereira Rossell Hospital Centre, Montevideo, Uruguay

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Structured and Collaborative Clinical Teaching Training Program for Nursing Preceptors

Safinah Kisu Museene
Nursing education in Uganda is comprised of theoretical teaching conducted in classrooms and libraries by tutors and instructors and practical/clinical teaching conducted in hospital wards, clinics, and health centers, often under the guidance of preceptors. However, most nursing preceptors are ill-prepared to conduct clinical teaching. This project represents collaboration between a hospital and a school of nursing and midwifery in sharing resources to improve preceptors’ clinical teaching competencies with a six-day training program. The approach was designed to ensure that clinical work and training were done concurrently so that patients were not left unattended. Seventy preceptors were trained using this approach. Knowledge for conducting clinical teaching improved from a mean score of 39% at the beginning of the training to 74% at the end. A committee now coordinates clinical teaching and learning in the hospital. Negotiation has begun with the Ministry of Education and Nursing Council to replicate this approach at all regional referral hospitals where similar clinical training needs exist.

Presenter: Safinah Kisu Museene, Principal, Mulago School of Nursing and Midwifery, Kampala, Uganda

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Danta Suraksha—A Multisectoral Approach for Oral Health Promotion among School Childrene

Pushpanjali Krishnappa
This project targeted children in Government schools of the rural Bengaluru area of Karnataka state by engaging government, educational, and NGO organizations and institutions in a collaborative program to promote better dental hygiene and nutrition. The strategy empowered school teachers to provide oral health education, identify dental diseases, and provide early referral. Materials were developed by and for teachers including a manual, an informative video for training teachers on oral health and nutrition that could also be played in schools, and Danta Suraksha Kits which contained materials for providing first aid and oral health education. 120 biology and physical education teachers were selected as ambassadors for an oral health and a master training workshop that was conducted by three teams of dental faculty. These master trainers trained additional teachers in phases supervised by core team members. Dental specialists provided extraction, oral prophylaxis, restorations, fluoride applications, and sealant applications to children in 14 schools who were treated for one month with consent from parents, referring those requiring complex treatment to hospitals. The project has expanded to all schools in the rural Bangalore area, and corporate sponsors have shown interest in implementing it in schools in other urban areas.

Presenter: Pushpanjali Krishnappa, Academic Registrar, Professor and Head, Dept of Public Health Dentistry, MS Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, Bangalore, India

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Infrastructure Building for Degree Level Nursing Education in Cameroon

Esoh Godfrey Nji
In Cameroon, nurses deliver most of the healthcare services due to a huge shortage of doctors. In 1997 the newly created Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Buea started the first Bachelor of Nursing Science program in the country. By 2007, due to attrition, there were only two members left on the fulltime nursing staff list, and there were no graduate training opportunities in Cameroon for the degree graduates to obtain Master’s degrees and come back and teach. In 2007, the Higher Institute of Applied Medical Sciences Buea, the Department of Nursing of the Faculty of Health Sciences University of Buea, and the School of Nursing and Midwifery of the University of East Anglia United Kingdom jointly created a project to develop the capacity of the Cameroonian institutions to sustain and advance the training of nurses at degree level in Cameroon. To date, the University of Buea has graduated seven cohorts of nurses from its Master of Nursing Education program, adding 72 qualified nurse teachers to the faculties of various Cameroonian training schools and universities.

Presenter: Esoh Godfrey Nji, Deputy Rector and President, Jomatt Polytechnic Higher Institute, Batibo, Cameroon

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Malnutrition Reduction Program: Field Testing, Implementation, Monitoring, and Process of a Nutrition Intervention Strategy for Young Children

Julieta Dorado
In the Philippines two in every 10 children age 0-5 are underweight and three out of 10 are stunted or underheight-for-age. A multifaceted Malnutrition Reduction Program (MRP) of the national Department of Science and Technology (DOST) was created to address the malnutrition problem. Nutrition modules to aid community health workers were crafted, and a study was conducted to reduce the prevalence of underweight among 6-36 month old children with a 120-day feeding intervention to increase knowledge of breastfeeding and complementary feeding among mothers/caregivers. A nutrition intervention strategy (DOST PINOY) under the MRP was rolled out to regions most vulnerable to malnutrition, aimed at encouraging local governments and entrepreneurs to localize production of complementary foods. Since 2015, the program has been implemented in 25 provinces and 57 cities/municipalities, benefitting 7,214 children, mothers, and caregivers. The MRP has provided capacity and skills building on food and nutrition among 1,942 local level community workers. Sixteen LGU policy resolutions have been approved and passed for adoption of DOST PINOY at the provincial and municipal level.

Presenter: Julieta Dorado, Supervising Science Research Specialist, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Taguig City, Philippines

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[last update: June 21, 2017]