Today the three medical students (Theresa, Kelly, and I) spent a day with one of the outreach teams visiting 5 different clients in a village about 30-45 minutes away by car. It was a great opportunity to see how outreach works, and I look forward to more trips with them in the future.
The WHO guidelines on malnourishment point out that malnourished children are developmentally delayed (crawl, walk, talk later than other children their age), and a crucial part of their treatment should be regular stimulation and encouragement of activity and interaction. I think the TTL safe-house is great for that: the kids have a consistent schedule every day with plenty of food, and there are many staff members and volunteers here to play with them all day. In comparison, most of the people living in the villages are farmers, so they are away all day, and kids are left at home if they aren't in school. If children are very young they are slung on their parents back all day, which doesn't encourage meeting physical milestones like sitting, crawling, walking, etc. I think in severe cases of malnourishment that the safe-home is a great place to nurse a young child back to health. I'm excited to be a small part of that process in the month that I'm here!
****Rachel Hope is a 4th Year Georgetown Medical Student volunteering at TTL during February*******