By Dr. Ahmed Mohiuddin Siddiqui:

Muscat, 9 May 2018: The post graduate students of Emergency Nursing Programme (ENP) at the Oman Specialised Nursing Institute (OSNI) organized an impressive public awareness campaign towards excellence in care at home. The campaign was inaugurated by the Director General of Human Resources (DGHR) in the Ministry of Health (MoH), Hamood bin Mohammed Al Kharousi. It was  witnessed by a large gathering held at the Oasis Mall in Muscat. The purpose of the program was to promote awareness among public regarding the domestic injuries and their prevention.

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and table

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and table

Injuries are among the most common preventable health problems worldwide. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), injuries account for 9% of global mortality annually with more than five million cases reported resulting from different kinds of injuries. There is no specific data  available related to home injuries  in Oman, but the number of  injuries reported to the primary health care is around 24/ 1000 visits yearly. There are several types of traumas that could occur at home settings but the focus of the campaign was on 4 major different traumas that usually occur. This included: falls, hand injuries, food poisoning and chemical injuries.

Image may contain: 7 people, people smiling, indoor

Image may contain: 7 people, people smiling, indoor

Despite advancements in science and technology, many people still prefer to do some activities manually using their hands. This sometimes leads to serious injuries. Hand injuries are one of the most common injuries occurring at home. According to statistics from Khoula Hospital in Muscat, a total of 4,694 patients were referred to Hand Surgery unit from Emergency department from June 2014 – June 2016. Around 2.3% of the referred patients to Hand Surgery in the past two years sustained trap door injuries, knife cut injuries and manual washing machine related injuries. Nearly 20% of these patients had significant injuries with complete amputation of the affected part. Household safety measures, especially with children, will decrease the chances of all injuries, including those to the hands. The key to decreasing the long-term effect of a hand injury is timely medical evaluation and treatment. Amputated tips of fingers and toes are very common injuries and the right initial first aid; they can very often be successfully re-attached. The management will aid in saving the affected part for successful attachment.

Objectives of the campaign:

  1. To discuss the type of common domestic injuries and their prevention.
  2. To explain and demonstrate the care of amputated part at home.
  3. To demonstrate the care of fracture and its stabilization.

The campaign Contents included:

  1. exhibition of two different stations
  • Injuries care and care of amputated part
  • Fracture stabilization and education about compartment syndrome
  1. Photos and a video show
  2. Distribution of information and educational materials in two languages (Arabic & English) as key chain and
  3. Posters

At the end of the campaign, the public was able to :

  1. Discuss the types of common domestic injuries and their prevention.
  2. Demonstrate the fracture site stabilization.
  3. Explain the care of wounds and amputated part at home.
  4. Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing

Falls are generally defined as losing balance and collapsing (Oxford 2016). On the other hand, Kalisch et al. (2012) defined a fall more specifically as an adverse event in which the patient is found on the floor.

The purpose of this health promotion activity was to educate the public about how to prevent the group who are at risk to fall as well as how to manage if the fall occurs. The public was instructed about the signs of red flag or when to seek the medical facilities for further stabilization of the victim.

Falls are common incidents and the second leading cause of unintentional or accidental injury or death (WHO 2016). Globally, every year approximately 424,000 individuals die from falls and most fall cases occur in individuals older than 65 years (WHO 2016). Falls are estimated as causing 16.9% of all out-patient morbidity (MOH 2014).

Fall is the second leading cause of accidental injury and deaths worldwide (WHO 2017). World Health Organization (WHO) stated that 646 000 individuals face falls-related death; It is more common in individuals older than 65 years of age (WHO 2017).

According to the Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Health (annual health report for 2016), falls is one of the main causes of morbidity in Oman. It is estimated that 43.4% of out-patients attended with complaints of falls.

This activity was divided into two sections: Prevention and Management. In the prevention the focus will be in preventing fall through modifying the environment, how to maintain fitness and teaching about medications which increase the risk of falls.

In the management section, there were be two parts; teaching audience about the signs and symptoms that need them to transfer the victim to the nearest medical facilities and how to manage or stabilize the victim who need or does not need to be transferred.

Image may contain: 19 people, people smiling, people standing

Image may contain: 19 people, people smiling, people standing

There were three ways to deliver this activity to the audience. Posters are the first technique and it involved both prevention and management parts. Hand cards that will cover the teaching about the red flag and when it needs to seek hospital. The last method was the Video which included  statistics, risk group of fall and related photos.

Burn is considered a major public health problem all over the world. In Oman, still a significant number of people suffered from burns by different agents.  For example:  In 2015, the number of people who notified to Burn Units at Khoula hospital was 200 patients. However, this number has increased over the past three years. By 2017, the number reached 219 patients and the most affected age group is arranged from 1-10 years by 40%. Unfortunately, this indicates that children are the most affected age group from the public target. Therefore, it is very important to strengthen public awareness of burn preventive and management measures. Furthermore, for the purpose of health promotion strategies related to burn issue, this project will focus on chemical injuries, as this agent took the 4th causative agent of burn cases. Unfortunately, still less people have awareness about how to take preventive measures. Therefore, the aim of this health promotion is to reduce incidence, mortality, morbidity and disability due to chemical injuries. In addition, it aims to improve awareness among the general masses and vulnerable groups especially the women, children, and occupational workers.

The aim was to educate the community about chemical injury accidents in houses.

Objectives:

  • Raising public awareness regarding dealing with proper saving chemicals substance of home.
  • Providing overview about local incidents of household chemical injury.
  • Explore the most affected body systems in case of chemical hazard contamination.
  • Educate people about home preventive measures from chemical contamination.
  • Educate people about First Aid in case of hazard contamination

Food-borne illnesses are usually infectious or toxic in nature and caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances entering the body through contaminated food or water (WHO, 2017). Food-borne pathogens can cause severe diarrhea or debilitating infections including meningitis. Chemical contamination can lead to acute poisoning or long-term diseases, such as cancer. Food-borne diseases may lead to long-lasting disability and death. Examples of unsafe food include uncooked foods of animal origin, fruits and vegetables contaminated with feces, and raw shellfish containing marine biotoxins (WHO, 2017).

The burden of food poisoning to public health and welfare and to economy has often been underestimated due to underreporting and difficulty to establish causal relationships between food contamination and resulting illness or death. The 2015 WHO report on the estimates of the global burden of food poisoning presented the first-ever estimates of disease burden caused by 31 food-borne agents (bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins and chemicals) at global and regional level (WHO, 2017).

Safe food supplies support national economies, trade and tourism, contributes to food and nutrition security, and underpins sustainable development. Urbanization and changes in consumer habits, including travel, have increased the number of people buying and eating food prepared in public places (SCEIFD, 2017). Globalization has triggered growing consumer demand for a wider variety of foods, resulting in an increasingly complex and longer global food chain. As the world’s population grows, the intensification and industrialization of agriculture and animal production to meet increasing demand for food creates both opportunities and challenges for food safety. Climate change is also predicted to impact food safety, whereas temperature changes modify food safety risks associated with food production, storage and distribution (Food Regulation, 2017).

In Oman, a total of 650 cases were reported with food poisoning in 2016, according to Communicable Disease Surveillance Data as monthly incident reporting. The number of cases is increasing from the month of January with 36 cases compared to December when 116 food poisoning cases were reported.

Objectives:

  • To promote the health and safety of community by reducing food-related risks
  • To Support public health by promoting healthy food choices; maintaining and enhancing the nutritional qualities of food and responding to specific public health concerns
  • To Support a strong, sustainable food industry that offers a diverse, affordable food supply that also benefits our own community.

The public campaign of the post graduate students was guided by Said Humaid Al Harthy, Head, ENP and his team under the effective supervision of Dean Oman Specialised Nursing Institute, Dr. Manal Abdul Majeed Al Zadjali.

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