Today, TANF experienced its first real collaboration with the health workers. After having previously assisted them with the first stages of the refurbishment of the new community health clinic (check out previous blog post), TANF, today, was able to send a volunteer to assist three nurses at a twice-monthly mother and baby clinic. TANF is extremely supportive of free healthcare and, in the future, aims to work more closely with health workers in Ghana. This was the first step into doing this.
The mother and baby clinic in Oyarifa takes place in a community centre twice a month for mothers and babies and children up to the age of 4 years. It is designed to provide young children with the immunizations they need, while also monitoring their weight to ensure the child is growing healthily. The nurses are also there to assist mothers if they are having problems breastfeeding, or if the child has become sick. Overall, the health workers are a huge support to all mothers in this community.
When a baby is born, mothers are given a ‘Child Health Record Book’ which they must bring along to the clinic every time. In this book, data is recorded about the immunizations the child has received, as well as a graph to show weight gain/weight loss. Not only is it used for dates and statistics, but it includes information for mothers on how best to care for their child, including; signs, symptoms and prevention of malaria, how to prevent and treat diarrhoea, the best foods for baby at what age, family planning and general growth expectations to do with speech, walking and interaction, for example.
Today, the volunteer, Josie from the UK, assisted three health workers weigh and immunize over 55 babies and toddlers. The volunteer ensured the correct weight of each child was taken and then recorded it into their ‘Child Health Record Book’, while the health workers could concentrate on providing the correct immunizations to the child. It was a great achievement for the community and for TANF.