USF DNP Student in Panama Investigating a Leading Cause of Death in Children Under 5 in Developing Countries
On May 26th, 19 undergraduate students, 1 DNP student and 1 PhD student accompanied Dr. Sandra Cadena to the town of San Felix where they are providing community health care in the Comarcha of Chiriqui with the Ngoble and Bugle indigenous people, as part of the University of South Florida College of Nursing Community Health International Clinical Experiences in Panama, Central America. While abroad in Panama, DNP student Carolyn DeLoache, MSN, ARNP is completing DNP clinical hours and exploring the development of her DNP project looking at cultural beliefs and practices surrounding children with acute diarrhea, a leading cause of death in children under 5 in developing countries.
Carolyn DeLoache, MSN, ARNP, with children in Panama.
“Many studies have shown that treating children who are mildly or moderately dehydrated from diarrhea with oral rehydration salts (mixture of sugar, salts and water) is a life saving measure. Unfortunately, only 39% of affected children receive this simple, life saving measure”, said DeLoache. “I hope that by examining local beliefs and practices, we will gain a greater understanding about why the salts are not used more frequently. In addition, understanding the cultural norms will aid educators and health professionals in teaching about the use of Oral Rehydration Salts.”
For DeLoache, traveling to Panama is a preliminary step to examine the needs of the communities and assess the current knowledge about diarrheal disease, not only for the patients, but also the healthcare professionals.
University of South Florida College of Nursing students gain firsthand experience in global health issues with various populations during Community Health International Clinical Experiences in Panama, Central America. This year, three groups are traveling to Panama for Community Health International Clinical Experiences.