Friday, February 3, 2012

village health workers

Yesterday was quite an eventful outreach trip. We loaded up the truck with food and formula and set off for St. Martin early in the morning to check in on a few children. The first child we visited was a smiling, crawling, and active 11-month-old boy who has responded incredibly well to TTL’s assistance and most likely will be graduating next month. It is always great to see these types of success stories.

Although we weren’t able to conduct the second scheduled checkup (the mother was out in another village and wouldn’t be back until the evening), we did run into a few of the Village Health Workers (VHW) that TTL has trained. These VHWs work with TTL by keeping an eye on children out in the villages and referring any children or families in need to TTL. On this day, the VHWs spotted the TTL truck and literally came running to get our attention. They told us about several children in the nearby area who were in need. When we found the families, we discovered that two of the children were malnourished and in need of medical care. After weighing and measuring the children, the outreach workers spoke with the mothers and decided that the children needed to see a doctor right away. So the mothers gathered up a few things and we drove them back to the hospital in Mokhotlong. The children are being assessed at the hospital today, and it sounds like one, or both, of them will end up joining us in the safe-home in order to receive the medical and nutritional support they need to get back to health.

This experience showed me that there continues to be a dire need for the services that TTL provides in the villages around Mokhotlong and Thaba-Tseka. Although we have been seeing fewer severely sick and malnourished children than we have in the past, there are still many children who need TTL’s support.

-Tucker Dunn


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