By Vanessa Kellenberger, Volunteer from Switzerland
Since we last wrote about the tiny baby, TLC’s river team has been making weekly home visits to follow his progress. We have been very anxious about our little patient but this week we have good news: The baby is thriving!
As you probably remember, this baby was in a critical condition when we first saw him and we feared that he was too small and too sick to survive. It took a lot of time and effort to persuade his mother that he needed urgent hospital treatment, but eventually he got the treatment he needed and was sucessfully discharged home. Since then our team have been doing home visits every week to keep a close eye on him medically and to support the family in caring for him. This Tuesday we went there with our team leader Dr. Sopheak, a volunteer paediatrican Dr. Hasan, our midwife Sreyneth and our family planning specialist Kolyan. As we arrived, the baby was sleeping peacefully in a hammock.
Every week we measure the length and weight of the baby and give him a full medical check up. We discuss how he is doing with his mother and grandmother and give any advice needed. Unfortunately his mother has struggled to breastfeed and infant formula is much too expensive for a poor family. Normally in this situation, the family would feed the baby rice porridge and water which does not give adequate nutrition for an infant and carries a risk of infection from dirty water. TLC has therefore been supplying formula and educating the family about preparing the milk and cleaning the baby bottles hygienically, in order to support his first few months.
This week the little boy has gained weight again and is looking much healthier. The mother who was also unwell during pregnancy with very high blood pressure and sickness is feeling better too. We also brought the family some clothes for the baby and the four older children which were kindly donated to us and the family was so happy to get these gifts. TLC is very proud that this little boy has survived and is now doing so well. That is what keeps us all going!
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