On a metal bed frame with no mattress, lay a very thin looking mum and her little one-month old baby. After the Ship arrived in their village recently, the midwife on board, Debbie, was brought to check on the child. As she talked with the local health care worker, she found out that sadly, the mum, who was from a different village, had TB and was having trouble producing enough breast milk to feed her little girl. The effects of this were evident in the baby’s extremely low weight.
Meanwhile, on board the Ship, the team in the dental clinic happened to include a dental assistant, Shey; mum of a six-month old baby girl named Resina. Along with providing much laughter and many smiles for the volunteers on the Ship, Resina and her parents now had another purpose to fulfil while in Karati.
After talking with Debbie, Resina’s mum Shey, decided to express what milk she was able to and see if the little baby in the village would take it. The first feeding was an incredible success! The midwife first put some on to her finger and gave the little baby a taste, then proceeded to feed her the rest through a syringe.
In the next few days, one mum from the village came to the clinic with her own jar of milk that she had expressed for the baby. The same day, Debbie, along with Medical Coordinator, Hannah, held a meeting for the village mums where they discussed such circumstances when a mum can’t produce enough milk for her baby, and what they can do to help. The mums spoke about concerns they had, and Debbie and Hannah were able to address those, as well as dismiss many untrue rumours about germs and diseases being transferred. They talked about sharing the burden of supplying milk for a malnourished baby between many mums, so that the responsibility didn’t fall on just one other mum to produce everything. Most importantly, they discussed the value of life, and that without someone to speak up and step out to help this struggling family, this little baby would die. Any mum in this one’s position would do anything to see her baby live, and because of that, all the other mum’s could understand and have compassion on this family and others in similar situations.
Since the Ship’s visit to Karati, Medical Coordinator, Hannah, received a message that the little baby has been gaining weight! It seems this village has caught the Ship’s motto…I Want to Live!