Thursday, August 27, 2009

Preparedness of Nursing Officers of sentinel hospitals in the Western Province of Sri Lanka in response to a Possible Influenza Pandemic

Building capacity of health workers is a key element in epidemic preparedness and response. A hospital based descriptive cross sectional survey was carried out to describe the capacity of nursing officers in sentinel hospitals in the Western province of Sri Lanka in their preparedness and response to a possible pandemic influenza. A pre tested self administered questionnaire , a likert type attitudinal scale and a desk top pandemic excercise were used to describe their training status, knowledge, attitudes and competencies in relation to pandemic preparedness and response.

Though the majority (95%) had recieved training on infection control during their basic nursing training (85%), participation in training sessions on emerging and re emerging diseases(13%), emergency response (23%) and pandemic influenza (23%) was low.

The proportion of nurses with an adequate knowledge on the cause, mode of transmission, sign and symptoms of avian/pandemic influenza was very high(>85%). But the same for definition of pandemic, treatment and role of vaccines was very low(<50%).Despite a majority being trained on infection control. knowledge on standard precautions (19%) , transmission based precautions ( 0.3%) and isolation of patients (13%) were poor. Overall knowledge was significantly higher among particpants of pandemic infleunza training sessions(p<0.05)and those who had a service more than 10 years(p<0.05).

positive attitudes were recorded for being an important member of the rapid response team, extending their services in a pandemic,providing supplementary services, reducibility of the professional risk by protective measures and self ability in performing expected duty in a pandemic. Negative attitudes were highlighted for having to work in poor facilities, needing to abandon work for safety of them and family and the percieved inadequacy of training on infection control.

Overall competency of the nursing officers(27%) as well as more specific competencies such as isolation of patients (<20%), proper handling of dead bodies(<27%) and decontamination of infected materials (42%) were found to be critically poor.

the study highlighted the need for refresher in service training on infection control and more specific training such as those on emerging and re emerging infectious diseases, epidemic preparedness and response for upgrading the knowledge of nurses. Desktop and simulated excercises are recomended for enhancing the competency of nurses in emergency response to a possible pandemic influenza.These training programmes , provisions fro personal protection and improving facilities for infection control will enable eliminating elicited negative attitudes of the nursing officers to their role in a pandemic.

Key words:capacity, knowledge, attitude, competency, nursing officers, Sri Lanka

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Road side wisdom- all inclusive in the meal package

Advices to the general public is very common. In a society like SL, it starts at home. Then it is given at schools, religious places. TV and Radio also have programs to bombard people with advices of a variable nature. Contrary to these conventional method,a bizarre yet an innovative mode of advising the passengers was found in a road side boutique on the way from Kesbewa to Kalutara ( New Kandy road). First set of advices in the first picture includes
1.laziness leads to slavery
2.Patience is responsible for achieving many things.
3. Being angry destroys self and others.
4. Being frank makes humans noble
5. experience generates a new man.
6.Thoughts and aspirations cannot be imprisoned.
7. Love is the flower blossomed in the garden of life.
The second set of advice in the second picture includes
1. foolishness is a severe disease.
2.Joyous smile is the best cream for a face.
3.Tranqualised mind is the best medicine for a sleep.
4. Man is excellent, poisonous and extremely poisionus
5. A man without a shame is a walking dead body.

The third set of advices in the third frame entails;
1. Be careful of the friend who flatters you rather than the enemy who attacks you
2. A modest woman is a goddess.
All these advices are included in the meal price. No VAT and other levies are added on. Next time when you are off to the South of Sri Lanka, just don't miss these free of charge advices. cheers.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Amazing trip to Soweto, South Africa

Difference of two worlds. Still Soweto is very much behind the metropolis JOBURG. Arts on the body of two towers in the picture are terrific. I love SA, Joburg and even Soweto despite the risk for any outsider. Gun culture is very much alive they say in Soweto.

Amazing memorial to Hector. He will eternally live in the hearts and minds of South Africans. He and others sacrificed their present for the future of South Africans in partcular Blacks, coloreds and Indians.

The visit to Hector pieterson memorial was really memorable. We had the opportnity to see his sister who is working in the library. The child who carries Hector in that world renowned picture ( Top left).

This was my companion in the bus to Soweto. Soweto means the South Western township. It is the craddle of anti apartheid struggle. I am fortunate to be there as we supported the struggle of Bikos as school kids. It was a dream coming true for me. Hope, SA politicians will improve the life of Soweto kids. They may not let go the talents wasted. Education, rugby, cricket, soccer. So many avenues. On the way, the guide showed us an outlet of a chain of malls. Indeed the outlet @ Soweto. the owner was a milk delivering lad from Soweto. He is enormously rich today. A good lesson for many kids in Soweto.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Tribute to a great soul

Just turned the telly on during the weekend for the routine dose of news. It broke the news of the death of a literary giant of our time ; Mr. Sarathchandra Jayakody. The news was a shocked one for me as he was from the very area where I was born and brought up. Though I had bumped on to him onece or twice, he knew who I was and literary pieces that I had written years back to Divaina. It has been nearly now five years that I have stopped writing to papers due to my hectic schedule and professional comitments. He still wanted me to contribute as he thought my writing in mother tongue was good. Indeed a great complement for an ordinary soul like me to recieve such a honor from a great man. If he is a jumbo, I am an ant. So commencing writing is the best honor that I would be able to bestow on this great soul.

He was such an educted soul that he led a modest way of life . Anyone will hardly believe, I reckon. That is against the background in which today with a little knowledge people try to be pseudo intelligentsia. He was excellent in English, singhala and Sanskrit, so they say. Many sought his support in transalting sanskrit. His features in singhala newspapers were palatable to read. They dealt with village life that we cherished as kids. Our villages have now become semi urban areas. But he used to bring nostalgic memories of yesteryears. He lived in that dream. Though the opportunity was there to migrate to an urban area, he lived in handapangoda as a village folk. He was in his roots and never did he forget his roots. This suddenly flashed in me while taking lunch today, a colleague told how another colleague use a FAB outlet as a landmark to enhance her/his social status. In a world with empty people of that nature, you are a complete man ; a rare breed indeed. May you attain the supreme bless of Nibbana


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