The NPHI Medical Services team completed the 6th Annual Medical Workshop. The workshop was hosted at NPH Nicaragua and was attended by doctors and nurses from eight of the NPH homes as well as specialists from Spain, Germany and the United States. The themes for this year focused on the proper use of the new electronically medical records system, vaccinations and caring for special needs children.
For the past year and a half, Karl Staymann has been traveling to all the NPH homes installing an electric medical records system that has been modified to specifically meet the needs of NPH. As well as installing the program and entering data, Karl has been training the local staff on how to work with the software. During the workshop, we were able to identify key areas that needed reinforcement and follow up with questions or concerns. It was expressed by all the participants that the added education and follow up was very useful in more thoroughly understanding the program.
An added benefit to the workshop was the presence of Dr. Maria Jose Alvarez from Spain who specializes in vaccinations. She is a board member of the group Asociacion Espanola de Vacunologia (Spanish Association of Vaccineology) and very involved with charity arm of AEV called Vacunas Solidarias, which has very generously helped by working with NPH to get the children’s vaccinations schedules up to date. With Dr. Maria’s help, we reviewed various specific vaccines, indications for use, catch up schedules and had general discussions concerning vaccines. Since many children of various ages arrive to the NPH home with incomplete vaccination schedules, or none at all, the theme of vaccination catch-up schedules is always very important. At NPH we have a schedule based on the World Health Organization recommendations, that in many cases is more complete than the individual countries vaccination schedule. For this reason it was very helpful to have someone who specializes in vaccines to help our staff with their questions and concerns.
We were also very pleased to have the presence of Dr. Norma Alberto from the NPH Honduras special needs home, Casa Angeles, and two therapists Nadine and Verena from NPH Good Samaritan program in Nicaragua, who have expertise in children with feeding difficulties. We received education on the proper techniques for feeding children with various swallowing problems, varieties of feeding tubes and their proper use and the proper diet and function for enteral feedings. The information was very useful and the passion and dedication of the therapists and Dr. Alberto were an inspiration to all.
All in all the participants felt the workshop was very useful and will help in the daily functioning of the clinics at NPH. It is always very educational for the medical staff from the various countries to get together and share their individual experiences in their clinics. Friendships and connections were made helping each clinic feel more open to communicate among the various clinics of NPH thus widening the scope of the NPH Medical Family.
Contributed by Darren Blue, NPHI Medical Services Regional Medical Coordinator