Another part of our week were the home visits regarding outpatient follow ups. The clinic follows each patient and their family for six months after discharge to ensure proper feeding. What we witnessed on these visits was surprising. Even though the mothers are being taught about nutrition and the importance of feeding, there was a disconnect between understanding the teaching and actual feeding practices. A lot of these women were not feeding their children appropriately, such as on a schedule or throughout the day. The mothers seemingly had all the supplies amd resources needed-because the clinic provides teaching and free food-and yet the children were not being fed appropriately. Although this might seem unbelievable, we attributed this to deeply ingrained cultural practices. We found it frustrating to know that some children are not being fed however we realize that in Canada we are fortunate to have loved ones around us to teach us basic life skills such as mothering. We also have a great health care system that supports and educates expecting mothers from the beginning of their pregnancy to post pregnancy. A lot of these mothers are young, such as age 15, and may not have the support or family alive to help teach basic life skills. This was a big culture shock for us as it was hard to not only understand their lifestyle but be compassionate towards it. Mostly we have learned that we take for granted the simple things in life, and not realize that these simple things can have such a big impact. We are feeling especially thankful for our friends and family back home. :)
Dr. Lisette and Gillian assessing Nawa.
A typical scene during the home visits - we would meet outside of their houses that were made of straw or mud.
Doing some teaching on TB while the patients wait in the clinic.