Students Offer Training on Dysphagia Management
UKZN’s fourth-year Speech-Language Pathology students in Collaboration with the University of Zululand’s final-year Consumer Science students recently presented a workshop to about 80 Zululand Community Care Givers (CCG).
The half-day workshop dubbed “train the trainer” was held at the University of Zululand.
The workshop was on the management of dysphagia and it aimed to impart specific skills and knowledge on the CCGs which they will then take to the household level. It gave them a guide on what to do and how to do it.
Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder which happens in three stages; oral, pharyngeal and oesophageal phase. Students believe most patients are affected by this condition, ‘In order to tackle this issue we decided to provide a clinical and outreach service to CCGs under the auspices of Ngwelezane hospital,’ said UKZN student, Ms Nje Hadebe.
The programme displayed inter-professional education and inter-professional practice in action, as the students from both institutions worked together to develop and present their workshop as part of their clinical training.
‘As students we got a chance to experience the world through the CCG’s view and them though ours. People are often unaware of the things caregivers do to help individuals with disabilities,’ said Hadebe.
‘They give life to the community, they are the backbone of the community, it is therefore vital for them to gain as much information as possible. We, on the other hand, need the community in order to deliver adequate and effective intervention thus creating change one patient at a time,’ she continued.
UKZN students trained the CCGs on how to care for people with eating disorders caused by disability, especially stroke patients. They were trained on how to make sure what they feed patients can be swallowed with ease and has all the health nutrients.
Meanwhile UNIZULU students shared a self-developed menu of easily accessible foods that the CCGs can use to make foods and drinks like; ice tea, amasi, beetroot and amadumbe.
Students also encouraged participants to advise patients’ families to grow their own vegetables.
The caregivers were given an opportunity to try out the methods taught and to also ask questions if they needed clarity.
Words and photographs: Nombuso Dlamini