Preface to second edition
After its publication in 1981, the first edition of this book
was field-tested in a number of training centres for community health workers in
developing countries. This second edition has been prepared by Dr K. Bagchi on
the basis of this experience. In addition, many trainers from both developed and
developing countries who used the first edition sent in suggestions for
improvement independently, and this edition also includes their recommendations.
The World Health Organization is grateful to all of them.
The first part of this book consists of three chapters that
should be read by all trainers. The first introduces the guidelines; the second
deals with teaching skills, and is intended to help trainers teach better; those
who are not formally trained as teachers will find it useful to study the
teaching methods described. The third chapter presents some basic facts about
foods to help trainers focus on the basic nutritional knowledge community health
workers will need in order to work effectively.
The second part of the book contains the training modules. Each
module deals with one topic and describes specific tasks related to it. The
modules in this edition are essentially the same as those in the previous
edition, though some of them have been modified considerably. In most cases, the
training content has been made shorter. The modules on nutrition and diarrhoea
and nutrition and infections in the previous edition have been condensed into
one module in this edition. The last module is new and contains useful practical
information on how to apply all the knowledge learnt during training to the
nutritional problems in the real-life community situation.
This book should be used as a model, and national trainers must
adapt it to suit local needs by introducing locally relevant examples of
nutritional problems and exercises. (A recent WHO publication, Nutrition
learning packages, describes useful training activities and contains material
for adaptation.) This has already been done with the previous edition, which now
exists in several languages including Arabic, Burmese, French, Hindi, Malay,
Spanish, and Thai. We hope that this revised edition will prove even more useful
than the first.
Dr Alberto Pradilla
Chief, Nutrition, WHO,