Meeting Mums and Children
Today has been a super busy day taking in the work of Save the Children projects.
First up was a visit to the newly built health centre it offers a maternity unit, childrens clinic and a hospitalisation wing.
This is a fantastic treatment centre and a real asset to the community – take a look at the old centre, it has tarpaulin sides. Can you imagine your newborn baby staying here?
I met two Mums with newborns on the unit both of whom were over the moon with their brand new bundles, babes were fit and healthy and ready to go home. Staying on the unit gives health workers the chance to check baby is feeding well and that there aren’t any problems before they are taken home. Mums are taught the importance of breastfeeding, it the only and best option for a babies survival, education on maintaining a good diet for themselves is also key.
From conception, the first 1000 days of a childs life is the defining time when growth and progress is established successfully ensuring they have the best fighting chance to flourish. If malnutrition affects them in this time then the damage to cells is irreversible and children will never meet their full potential.
I can’t imagine not having named any of my boys for this long in case they didn’t make it – for Rwandan Mums this is the reality.
Local ladies bring their children to be weighed once a week, much like our clinics in the UK heights and weights are recorded on each childs record card.
This can be essential in identifying any little ones that aren’t growing and thriving as they should. It also monitors progress when the team are treating them with supplements and fortification.
Not all of them are so keen on hanging in the air to be weighed and I can understand why! It’s a simple bit of kit, inexpensive and available to clinics across Rwanda and it does a very important job. A quick hug from Mum and they’ve forgotten all about it.
Waiting in line for their turn to be measured
It is so important that the work of Save the Children is supported so that schemes can be expanded and their help can reach even further globally. Being here and seeing it firsthand, talking to Mums and meeting cheeky children just confirms that for me. I hope you get the same feeling from reading my tales.
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