Another successful day at the women’s gynaecology health camp! Today we had 145 patients, making a total of 251 people in two days! I was reminded today of just how important this women’s health camp is for the villagers here when we met one woman who was 26 weeks pregnant. She thought she was only 2 weeks pregnant. This was her fourth child and she was 30 years old. All of her previous three births were at home, unassisted and she had never had any prenatal or antenatal care. She is one of the 40 million women a year who give birth without assistance. Today was the first time she has received any prenatal care ever.
After assessing her, the doctor found that the baby was not in the right position. If the baby does not turn naturally, it could result in a cesarean, or if she gives birth at home, unassisted, it could mean complications or death for the mother or baby. We explained this to the mother and she did not know what a cesarean or condom was. The doctor counseled her and educated her about contraceptives and strongly encouraged her to continue with prenatal care for the safety of her and her baby.
We had classes 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 come. Every student was health checked and each girl had time with the doctor where they asked about periods. Many of the girls complained of period cramps, urinary tract infections and vulvovaginitis. One girl was worried that she hadn’t gotten her period yet, but the doctor explained it was normal as she was only 14 years old.
After the students were health checked, we held two educational workshops with the students for the two nurses. They spoke to the children about contraceptives, sexual education and periods. All of the students listened intently.
One woman today had a 1 degree prolapse and had to get permission from her husband to get a ring inserted. I was happy when the husband allowed her, as this will help her in the future.
A few women came in with enlarged uteruses and were referred for ultrasounds, while one woman had a painful cyst in her ovary and was referred for further treatment. One woman we had to strongly encourage to get a vaginal examination and I am glad that we did because her uterus was enlarged X10 as she had a uterine fibroid benign tumor of the muscle of the uterus. Now she knows what is wrong and where the pain is coming from so she can receive the right treatment going forward.
We met two pregnant women, one was 9 months pregnant and overdue by 3 days. It was so precious to give her a knitted baby hat from Sweden and Asha (Home of Hope housemother) gave her a bag of clothes from when her son was newborn. We also did a Doppler test on a 35 week pregnant woman and heard the heartbeat and saw lots of movement from the baby.
These past two days have been so special, seeing so many different women come and be treated for multiple problems, they probably wouldn’t have been treated for if we didn’t hold this health camp. Many of the women were telling us that this is the first time they have ever seen a doctor. We referred four women for depo-provera (injected contraceptive) and handed out condoms.
I am so proud and satisfied with the medical staff, even though we had long waiting lines and had many people, the doctors and nurses were patient and treated each person with the same care and attention. They even looked at 26 male patients today! What a great two days it’s been here!
Lööf Foundation Representative