Saturday, 19 November 2011

17th November

Excitement of all excitement; when I got back form the health post at Homa today, I found that I had many parcels waiting at the post office. Jeremy has kept them aside for now as it is my birthday tomorrow and so I am going to open things then. What a treat to look forward to.

Homa health post was very interesting – it is basically a village hut situated in the village, where women are encouraged to come for antenatal care. Similarly to yesterday, once the word got around that there was scanning going on, around 30 women queued up in anticipation of seeing the baby’s heart beat of the very neat little machine that I carry around with me all the time. One woman had a very calcified placenta and luckily I remember learning about this when Brenda at St Peters was teaching me to scan. The baby was also rather small and no fluid around it. So we referred her to the hospital, giving her a note to take to ‘Dr Jeremy’.  Since she didn’t have the £3.00 for the return bus fare, we also gave her this to make sure that she did actually attend the hospital.

When scanning in the health post, there's always a huddle of children peering in through the window - I think it's the best show in town. The notions of privacy and confidentiality haven't quite reached here yet.
Then we went to the health centre to find one woman had just delivered a healthy boy and another woman delivered her baby just 10 minutes later. All well and healthy. This is great news because up until last month, women were not coming to the health centres for their deliveries. Now they have around 30 a month.

I came out of the health centre to find Sophie doing, ‘heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ with a group of at least 30 children. They were singing along and doing all the movements and generally having a great time. I think she could have a job here in the school!

Having been to the community health facilities over the past couple of days, I have to say that things are really improving out here. Women are starting to attend the health facilities for antenatal appointments and are even coming in to deliver their babies. This should have a dramatic impact on the maternal mortality rate…..if only we had the data to measure this accurately.
There's always time for a buna (coffee) when out for a day in the villages.........

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