153 Kids For Well Child Clinic
May 12th, 2010 by INMED
Tuesday, I again reported to the CHAD (Community Health and Development) Hospital and am continuing to work on database development for them. Went with the OT on rounds in the nursery today. Wow, there were about 6 babies, in clear sided bassinets like used in the States. BUT, the mothers of the sick babies slept on the floor next to the bassinets. I don’t mean with a pillow and blanket, just on the linoleum floor. Some of the babies had been there over a week. I cannot imagine just having had a baby and then sleeping on the floor.
On Wednesday the immunization clinic is held. Today I weighed the babies and recorded the weight on the card each mother had. The card has the weight for age grids developed by the World Health Organization already printed on it so we could graph progress and percentiles easily. We had 153 children for the clinic (most under the age of 3). Imagine an open air room, full of 153 children, their mothers and often their grandmothers. Everyone is sitting on the floor in the sweltering heat. Few babies have any kind of diaper. Most are just bare-bottomed laying on a piece of cloth, some have a small rag tied around their bottom. There are accidents everywhere on the floor but the mothers just wipe them up with a blanket or the end of their sari (I always wondered what those extra yards of fabric were for). It was quite a sight, sound and smell adventure.
Today I met some interesting people at breakfast. One young man from Sweden is a medical student who will leave this week after 3 months here. He had lived in LA for a year while his mother did a post-doctoral fellowship. Interestingly, he realized how prevalent that the Spanish language was in LA so he decided in order to learn Spanish he would go to Peru and volunteer at an orphanage for a year to learn the language. Another fellow joined us-he has been here for 3 years but had just returned from the UK for a one month holiday. He works for the Cochrane Institute-I learned a lot at breakfast about medical research and the Institute. All in all it was a good start to the day, very stimulating conversation.