It’s summer here now and the whole country is very hot. Every day it’s over 100 degrees with high humidity. There are several diseases that tend to affect children more this time of year. On one side of my village people are using water from the canal for their household needs, and the children have been getting water-borne diseases. I am seeing more cases of conjunctivitis, diarrhea, pneumonia, coughs and colds, and stomach problems too. I advise all the mothers – especially the ones with sick babies – to keep their children clean and make sure they drink lots of liquids like safe drinking water, lemonade and green coconut water.
This month I made 24 household visits. I counseled two new mothers about how to care for their newborns. I told them they should be feeding their babies nothing but breast milk for the first 6 months. I also facilitated two courtyard sessions where we brought people together to talk about community health problems and solutions. I was very happy that 27 women and 10 men attended. We talked about how seasonal diseases are increasing as the weather gets hotter. We decided to have an art and writing contest for the children. The goal will be to warn people about the dangers in this hot weather and teach people how to be prepared.
Seven-month-old Tamanna was one of the children I helped this month. Her mother was visiting family in a nearby village and didn’t know what to do when her baby started coughing and breathing rapidly. Tamanna’s grandfather knew about me, and suggested she come see me. The mother brought Tamanna to my house. I told her Tamanna had a respiratory infection. It was not severe, but it could have turned into pneumonia if it was left untreated. I gave the mother some medicine and advice about how to care for her little girl. They came back to see me a week later and I was very happy to see Tamanna feeling better.