Our time is going by so quickly! It seems we can't get enough of Haiti and today we are off to the orphanage at Canaan again to see how Bobi works the Medika Mamba program for the children in the medical clinic. Always something to learn and help with.
A Healthy Boy Soon to Graduate! :o)
Roberto took us to the orphanage in the truck and we all stepped inside the clinic to see how the day would start. There were lots of people sitting around and standing, waiting to get into the medical clinic, and the Mamba clinic. Medika Mamba means peanut butter medicine in creole. The parents bring their children much like we can take our babies to the health department or doctor's office for well baby check ups. We stood in a corner and watched as patients started coming in. The children are all clean and have clean clothes on, and shoes. It's a change from what we've seen for the last few days. But then again, when we take our kids to the doctor we clean them up too. ;o) It's really no different than home in so many ways.
When the babies are brought in they are weighed and measured to see if they are on target for their age. The people working in the clinic have been trained in how to check their charts, properly distribute the Mamba and when to know if they need further treatment for other things such as Malaria or worms. Many of the children are wormy, which is no different than us giving worm medicine to our pets. The parents can tell you if their child has worms in their stools. It's sad to see children with their health not as good our our family pet.
The Mamba comes in plastic pouches and much like anything else, it separates in the pouch so we all spent our 'observation' time in the corner mixing bags of Mamba like kneading playdough in our hands. If your child is eligible for the Medika Mamba you are given enough of the mixture to last until the following week. The Mamba looks and tastes like peanut butter so it's very important that the parents are instructed that the Mamba is a medicine. Not a food or a treat. That it is to only be given to the child they bring to the clinic. As voo doo is still going on in Haiti it is also explained to the parents that the Mamba is not magic or voo doo. That the people working at Canaan are Christian and God has blessed them to come to Haiti and help the people and the children. That the Mamba is a good thing, it is of God and will make their children and babies better. They will gain weight very quickly so the parents are encouraged to keep feeding the medicine and not stop because it seems like a magical cure.
The Mamba is significantly fortified with lots of protein, and nutritional supplements to nourish the children. Within 6 to 8 weeks you can transform a starving child to a healthy, thriving and happy child. It really is amazing to see.
The down side to the clinic....not all parents follow directions. After all, the Mamba does taste like peanut butter and it's hard to keep it from the other children in the house and it sometimes gets shared or other family members start sneaking it because it's so good. We had to watch as it was explained to one mother that if she didn't follow the program properly she wouldn't be allowed to have the Mamba anymore. How do you explain to a mother that you aren't going to help her make her child better anymore because she has failed to follow directions? This same child is the one we saw earlier this week in the village. Yes, he was better since Diane had seen him last as he could stand and walk when he was so close to dying. But he's still not gaining as he should. The Mamba is something that can be so closely regulated they know how much weight your child should gain based upon the dosage they tell you to administor. It's amazing. Bobi is so caring with all the families and the children though. It's great to see her head up this program and watch the children grow. She's good at what she does and it makes her very happy.
After our work at the orphanage we went back to the house for water and a break and to drop Kevin off. ;o) He has fishing to tend to while us girls go check out our new kids we're going to sponsor! Yeah!