Today was extremely hot, busy and exhausting both mentally and physically for all. The clinic has been open a week and the word has definitely gotten out. Today we heard stories of husbands and children dying along the journey out of Myanmar. A 6 month pregnant woman who had been beaten by the Myanmar army showed up with extremely painful broken arm. As I was trying to get her a Tom Tom to the nearest field hospital for a X-ray and cast, a father dropped the most fragile 17 day old baby in my arms. At first I wasn’t even sure the baby was alive. Thankfully she was. She was suffering from a nasty skin infection😢. We were able to give her the medications she needed to heal.
As the day went on I was feeling drained, thirsty and wanting a break. I reminded myself that I am surrounded by some of strongest, most resliant women in the world. If they could carry on after being beaten, forced to leave their homeland, have their family members killed, built homes from bamboo and string, and manager to care for the children they have. I could carry on just being hot and tired. I will be blessed with AC, food and a bed tonight.
Another day of clinic. Another day caring for lots of pregnant women. Here I am seeing more women in one day than I do in a week at the Birth Center of Jacksonville. Many of the women who came to see us today were 9months pregnant. We didn’t have any clean birth kits to pass out. We requested more and I am really hoping the arrive quickly. The clean birth kits provide them with a clean place to have their baby and a clean blade to cut the cord. I had 4 women needing pregnancy test that I did not have either. I am hoping I can purchase those at the pharmacy in the morning. We asked each of them to come back in the morning.
I was lucky to have a translator today . Thank you Younus Khan.
The clinic is noisy, crowded, hot and without windows or doors and many women wait hours for their turn but all of the women are so grateful to receive any care we can give . I am honored to be able to care for them.
*I took these photos as were driving into the Palongkauli camp this morning**
Missing my people today. 😘😘 (Tiffany I love this photo of my loves.)
Today was another busy day of clinic. We saw many mamas who were 9 months. Several women who thought they are pregnant but actually aren’t . The stress, malnutrition and strenuous exercise have stopped them from having monthly cycles.
The camps are growing daily. More refugees needing our help. If you have it in your heart come to Bangladesh and help. Come! The need is greater than you ever imagine.
Today started with a meeting discussing many reproductive health issues in the camps and ways to better care for the Rohingya women.
Then a nice walk along the ocean and delicious lunch, cold fresh lemonade and a discussion of what steps we need to personally take to improve care. Next a walk through the market and finally a Tom Tom ride back to the room.
Day 12 – Friday is the day of rest and the clinic was closed.
Day 13- What a special day. I got to meet a tiny 7 hour old newborn. As soon as I got to the clinic a father walked in saying that his wife just gave birth. So off we went with him to do an newborn exam and check ok the mama. The tent was high up and deep into the camp. We finally made it to the tent out of breath and red faced. *Phew* There was no way I was gonna stop and look like a weak out of shape American 😜
I ducked into tidy tiny two room tent. Nothing but a mat on the floor. I took off my shoes sat on the mat and a beautiful smiling grandma handed me the most precious tiny baby. Wrapped in a blanket from one of the birth kits I had to give. (I was relieved to know that meant the cord was cut with a clean blade) In just a few mins the tent was surrounded with many smiling face peaking through the plastic and several women sitting next to me. When I pulled out the my sling to weigh the baby whole tent started cheering. They loved hearing her weight. 2.2 kg / 5lbs I then did a complete newborn exam while teaching Rashida the midwife how to do one. Then we gently checked on the mama. Both mom and baby are doing well. Welcome earthside precious one
Sunday 10-29. A day full of unplanned events
Shortly after arriving at the clinic to start the day an old man arrives with a tiny bundle in his arms. The triage was sending him away but I told him to come with me. A baby just 4-5 hours old. A tiny little bundle was dropped into my arms so I hurried to my chamber so I could examine the baby. As I unwrapped the bundle it became obvious that this sweet baby was no longer with us. I did everything I could and hoped for a miracle but unfortunately it wasn’t my day for a miracle to happen. I weighed him (2lbs) wrapped him back up and handed him back to his grandfather. Such a sad day. All day I thought of that this sweet baby and his mama. I can’t even imagine the fear of running from my country for my life, to make it to safety to live in a tiny tent in a crowded, smelly, dirty camp, where I am always hot, thirsty and hungry and then have to experience the heart wrenching pain of losing my baby too. Please pray for this family that they find peace, love and prosperity. 🙏🏻The Rohingya people have no choices other than to be strong, and resilient .
Later in the evening we climb into a Tom Tom to head to dinner and found ourselves in the middle of a political demonstration. We jumped out of the Tom Tom in hopes that would be easier to find our way out of the crowds. It was not possible and we were ushered into a hotel near by. Thankfully the hotel had a cafe with some delicious western food. So we sat, ate and chatted while we waited for the crowds to disperse.
We made it back (past my bedtime) to our room safe and sound.
Today the ride out and from to the camp was lined with people waiting to get a glimpse of the former prime minster. She came to visit the camps. Security was obviously heightened as every few feet stood a group of armed police officers.
Clinic was a bit slower today but much busier than any day of clinic I have when I am home. Several birth kits handed out, lots of bellys palpated, and a few positive pregnancy test.
One precious newborn was brought in for an exam. He is 20 days old. He was sleepy and tiny but well. He weighs 6lbs.