Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

Search results for: Sepali Guruge

6 Elder Abuse Interventions: What We Know and What We Need to Know

Authors: Sepali Guruge


Background: There is an increase in interest among health care professionals and social workers in understanding how best to identify, mitigate, and prevent elder abuse. Purpose & method: Based on a recently completed scoping review of related literature, this paper will focus on the current state of knowledge on elder abuse interventions. Results: The results will be presented in light of the fact that limited literature exists on primary prevention of elder abuse. The existing literature on interventions to reduce or stop abuse will be critically examined in terms of their effectiveness. Particular attention will be paid to interventions such as relocation of older adults experiencing abuse, in-home assessments, empowerment and psycho-educational support for older adults. Conclusions: Overall, multi-stakeholder collaborative, community-based interventions should be designed to identify, mitigate, and prevent elder abuse.

Keywords: elder abuse, interventions, scoping review, prevention

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5 Promoting Early Learning of Children under Five Years in an Economically Disadvantaged Community in Sri Lanka through Health Promotion Approach

Authors: Najith Duminda Galmangoda Guruge, Nadeeka Rathnayake, Vinodani Wimalasena, Dinesha Wijesooriya


Investing in Early Learning can improve children’ interests for education and makes them ready for school. Children in economically disadvantaged communities may have reduced readiness for schools. Health Promotion approach enables communities including disadvantaged to control over their health. Mothers of children under the age five in ‘Alapathwewa’ community (n=40) were selected as the sample with the aim to promote early learning of children to improve their school readiness. Mothers in ‘Morakeewa’ community (n=40) were the control. Interventions were for a period of 2 years and children of these mothers were followed up to school entry. Importance of early learning and possibility of providing quality learning environments for children at a low cost was discussed with mothers in an experimental setting by facilitators. Mothers were enabled to make age-appropriate baby rooms which provide learning opportunities. Collective community playhouses and play areas were developed by mothers to provide opportunities for children to interact and learn with each other. Mothers started discussing with each other and sharing experiences. The progress was monitored by mothers at regular intervals. Data regarding school competencies of children were obtained from school teachers. School teachers measured thirteen competencies of children on a scale of ‘very good, good, moderate and weak’. All children in the experimental group were in ‘very good’ level in two competencies, ‘communicate friendly with others’ and ‘express ideas well’. Children in the experimental group reported a significantly higher achievement of all thirteen competencies (p < .05) than children in control. Providing quality early learning environments for children even in economically disadvantaged settings makes them ready for schools. Through a Health Promotion approach, early learning experiences for children can be provided at a low cost.

Keywords: disadvantaged, early learning, economically, health promotion

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4 Effective and Innovative Health Promotion Interventions for Promoting Life-Long Opportunities through Better Health and Nutrition Beginning from Early Childhood

Authors: Nadeesha Sewwandi, Dilini Shashikala, Rajarathnam Kanapathy, Shivakumaran Viyasan, Saman Kumara, Duminda Guruge


Introduction: Nutrition is fundamental for good health and development during the early years of life. This study describes how rural community does interventions for improving the nutrition and health of children less than 5 year ages using health promotion approach and this study was conducted with children society and mothers groups in a rural village called Welankulama in Sri Lanka. Methodology: The details got from Public Health Midwife in this village showed there were malnourished children under 5 years age. So, we discussed this problem with the children society, mothers groups and identified the determinants with them. Then they wanted to address some of the determinants that they prioritized from their discussions. ‘Evening school’ was a new place to this village to do collective feeding for small children. ‘Mobile library’ was another new concept in this village and nutrition books, evidence collection were there to read for villagers. Mothers marked the foods given to their kids in a book called ‘Nutrition book’. And also mothers tend to mark the level of eating foods to motivate their children in a ‘Hapana calendar’. Results: In terms of results, malnourished children under 5 years age got reduced and the number of children having illnesses got reduced. Marking nutrition book and ‘Hapana calendar’ were become as trend among mothers. Apart from the above, there was good improvement of physical, social and emotional wellbeing of children. Children who received early stimulation with nutrition supplements had better outcomes than children who only received nutrition supplements, thereby amplifying the impact of nutrition. Conclusion: Health promotion interventions are helped to change nutritional behaviors of early childhood in rural community and it makes children healthier and better able to learn.

Keywords: early childhood, nutrition, determinants, health promotion process

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3 Effective Health Promotion Interventions Help Young Children to Maximize Their Future Well-Being by Early Childhood Development

Authors: Nadeesha Sewwandi, Dilini Shashikala, R. Kanapathy, S. Viyasan, R. M. S. Kumara, Duminda Guruge


Early childhood development is important to the emotional, social, and physical development of young children and it has a direct effect on their overall development and on the adult they become. Play is so important to optimal child developments including skill development, social development, imagination, creativity and it fulfills a baby’s inborn need to learn. So, health promotion approach empowers people about the development of early childhood. Play area is a new concept and this study focus how this play areas helps to the development of early childhood of children in rural villages in Sri Lanka. This study was conducted with a children society in a rural village called Welankulama in Sri Lanka. Survey was conducted with children society about emotional, social and physical development of young children (Under age eight) in this village using questionnaires. It described most children under eight years age have poor level of emotional, social and physical development in this village. Then children society wanted to find determinants for this problem and among them they prioritized determinants like parental interactions, learning environment and social interaction and address them using an innovative concept called play area. In this village there is a common place as play area under a big tamarind tree. It consists of a playhouse, innovative playing toys, mobile library, etc. Twice a week children, parents, grandparents gather to this nice place. Collective feeding takes place in this area once a week and it was conducted by several mothers groups in this village. Mostly grandparents taught about handicrafts and this is a very nice place to share their experiences with all. Healthy competitions were conducted in this place through playing to motivate the children. Happy calendar (mood of the children) was marked by children before and after coming to the play area. In terms of results qualitative changes got significant place in this study. By learning about colors and counting through playing the thinking and reasoning skills got developed among children. Children were widening their imagination by means of storytelling. We observed there were good developments of fine and gross motor skills of two differently abled children in this village. Children learn to empathize with other people, sharing, collaboration, team work and following of rules. And also children gain knowledge about fairness, through role playing, obtained insight on the right ways of displaying emotions such as stress, fear, anger, frustration, and develops knowledge of how they can manage their feelings. The reading and writing ability of the children got improved by 83% because of the mobile library. The weight of children got increased by 81% in the village. Happiness was increased by 76% among children in the society. Playing is very important for learning during early childhood period of a person. Health promotion interventions play a major role to the development of early childhood and it help children to adjust to the school setting and even to enhance children’s learning readiness, learning behaviors and problem solving skills.

Keywords: early childhood development, health promotion approach, play and learning, working with children

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2 Determination of Gross Alpha and Gross Beta Activity in Water Samples by iSolo Alpha/Beta Counting System

Authors: Thiwanka Weerakkody, Lakmali Handagiripathira, Poshitha Dabare, Thisari Guruge


The determination of gross alpha and beta activity in water is important in a wide array of environmental studies and these parameters are considered in international legislations on the quality of water. This technique is commonly applied as screening method in radioecology, environmental monitoring, industrial applications, etc. Measuring of Gross Alpha and Beta emitters by using iSolo alpha beta counting system is an adequate nuclear technique to assess radioactivity levels in natural and waste water samples due to its simplicity and low cost compared with the other methods. Twelve water samples (Six samples of commercially available bottled drinking water and six samples of industrial waste water) were measured by standard method EPA 900.0 consisting of the gas-less, firm wear based, single sample, manual iSolo alpha beta counter (Model: SOLO300G) with solid state silicon PIPS detector. Am-241 and Sr90/ Y90 calibration standards were used to calibrate the detector. The minimum detectable activities are 2.32mBq/L and 406mBq/L, for alpha and beta activity, respectively. Each of the 2L water samples was evaporated (at low heat) to a small volume and transferred into 50mm stainless steel counting planchet evenly (for homogenization) and heated by IR lamp and the constant weighted residue was obtained. Then the samples were counted for gross alpha and beta. Sample density on the planchet area was maintained below 5mg/cm. Large quantities of solid wastes sludges and waste water are generated every year due to various industries. This water can be reused for different applications. Therefore implementation of water treatment plants and measuring water quality parameters in industrial waste water discharge is very important before releasing them into the environment. This waste may contain different types of pollutants, including radioactive substances. All these measured waste water samples having gross alpha and beta activities, lower than the maximum tolerance limits for industrial waste water discharge of industrial waste in to inland surface water, that is 10-9µCi/mL and 10-8µCi/mL for gross alpha and beta respectively (National Environmental Act, No. 47 of 1980). This is according to extraordinary gazette of the democratic socialist republic of Sri Lanka in February 2008. The measured water samples were below the recommended radioactivity levels and do not pose any radiological hazard when releasing the environment. Drinking water is an essential requirement of life. All the drinking water samples were below the permissible levels of 0.5Bq/L for gross alpha activity and 1Bq/L for gross beta activity. The values have been proposed by World Health Organization in 2011; therefore the water is acceptable for consumption of humans without any further clarification with respect to their radioactivity. As these screening levels are very low, the individual dose criterion (IDC) would usually not be exceeded (0.1mSv y⁻¹). IDC is a criterion for evaluating health risks from long term exposure to radionuclides in drinking water. Recommended level of 0.1mSv/y expressed a very low level of health risk. This monitoring work will be continued further for environmental protection purposes.

Keywords: drinking water, gross alpha, gross beta, waste water

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1 Reducing Stunting, Low Birth Weight and Underweight in Anuradhapura District in Sri Lanka, by Identifying and Addressing the Underlying Determinants of Under-Nutrition and Strengthening Families and Communities to Address Them

Authors: Saman Kumara, Duminda Guruge, Krishani Jayasinghe


Introduction: Nutrition strongly influences good health and development in early life. This study, based on a health promotion approach, used a community-based intervention to improve child nutrition. The approach provides the community with control of interventions, thereby building its capacity and empowering individuals and communities. The aim of this research was to reduce stunting, low birth weight and underweight in communities from Anuradhapura District in Sri Lanka, by identifying and addressing the underlying determinants of under-nutrition and strengthening families and communities to address them. Methods: A health promotion intervention was designed and implemented-based on a logical framework developed in collaboration with members of targeted community. Community members’ implements action, so they fully own the process. Members of the community identify and address the most crucial determinants of health including child health and development and monitor the initial results of their action and modify action to optimize outcomes as well as future goals. Group Discussion, group activities, awareness programs, cluster meetings, community tools and sharing success stories were major activities to address determinants. Continuous data collection was planned at different levels. Priority was given to strengthening the ability of families and groups or communities to collect meaningful data and analyze these themselves. Results: Enthusiasm and interest of the mother, happiness of the child/ family, dietary habits, money management, tobacco and alcohol use of fathers, media influences, illnesses in the child or others, hygiene and sanitary practices, community sensitiveness and domestic violence were the major perceived determinants elicited from the study. There were around 1000 well-functioning mothers groups in this district. ‘Happiness calendar’, ‘brain calendar’, ‘money tool’ and ‘stimulation books’ were created by the community members, to address determinants and measure the process. Evaluation of the process has shown positive early results, such as improvement of feeding habits among mothers, innovative ways of providing early stimulation and responsive care, greater involvement of fathers in childcare and responsive feeding. There is a positive movement of communities around child well-being through interactive play areas. Family functioning and community functioning improved. Use of alcohol and tobacco declined. Community money management improved. Underweight was reduced by 40%. Stunting and low birth weight among under-fives also declined within one year. Conclusion: The health promotion intervention was effective in changing the determinants of under-nutrition in early childhood. Addressing the underlying determinants of under-nutrition in early childhood can be recommended for similar contexts.

Keywords: birth-weight, community, determinants, stunting, underweight

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