Liberian Nurses Learn to Spot Danger Signs in Babies as Healthcare Gets Shot in Arm
The Well Baby clinic in Buchanan is busy. But that’s not unusual. The clinic, a two-hour drive from Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, sees between 700 and 1,000 mothers and children each week.
Nurse Cellian Fahncole sits in a consulting room off the main waiting room. She is examining a baby girl and asking the mother a series of questions, checking the responses against a list. “I am asking, ‘Does the child have fever and for how long? Is the fever accompanied by other symptoms?’ I refer to my book and check for danger signs, which are highlighted in pink. If there is any one of the danger signs, I know that I need to refer the child to a hospital,” she says.
Fahncole is using a system of diagnosis in which midwives and nurses in 77 health facilities across three counties were recently trained.
“The mother said the child was coughing so I did a breath count on the child, measuring how many breaths per minute, but the breath count did not fall into the pink zone on my check list so I know that was not serious.