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Nurses Knowledge and Awareness towards Severe Acute Malnutrition Management Protocol in Harar, Eastern Ethiopia

 Background: For appropriate management of acute malnutrition skilled,

knowledgeable and concerned health professional are mandatory. Thus,

assessing the knowledge of nurses towards management protocol of severe acute

malnutrition is crucial step for targeted interventions.

Objectives: to assess nurses` knowledge and awareness towards severe acute

malnutrition management protocol in Hiwot Fana Specialized University Hospital,

Eastern Ethiopia, 2018.

Methods: Cross-sectional study design was conducted among eligible 132 nursing

professional from April to June, 2018. Data was conducted using self-administered

questionnaire prepared from the national SAM management guideline of Ethiopia

revised version 2016. The collected data was analyzed using SPSS version 20.0

software using frequency, tables, graphs, percentages and mean. To compare the

knowledge level by various factors t test and analysis of variance with F statistics

and P value was computed.

Results: Out of the 23 questions assessing knowledge, 65 (49.2%) had poor

knowledge (scored below the mean) and 67 (50.8%) had good knowledge on

malnutrition and its managements. The mean knowledge score of nurses was

above the average, 53.9 with standard deviation of 14.4 points. More than half, 100

(75.8%) of the nurses had experience in SAM management previously. Males were

1.27 (95% CI: 0.62-2.60) times more odds of being knowledgeable as compared

to females. Nurses with the previous experience of managing malnourished child

had 1.70 (95% CI: 0.72-4.04) times more likely to be knowledgeable as compared

to their counterparts. Having SAM training was associated with having higher

knowledge score (AOR=1.56; 95% CI: 0.67-3.61). Having SAM training was found

to have significantly higher knowledge score than without training (p=0.034).

Conclusions and recommendations: Generally, the knowledge level of nurses

towards SAM management is not satisfactory. Those who ever involved in SAM

management, having recent malnutrition training and gender were predictors

of high knowledge score. There should be regular capacity building schemes for

nurses especially for those who are involved in management of SAM at emergency

or SAM unit. Involving experienced clinicians in management of malnutrition is of

paramount importance.

Author(s): Abdu Oumer*

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