Peru 2014: Two clinic visits near Pucallpa

Our travelers spent a day visiting two women’s clinics near Pucallpa. Read More.

By Nancy Jacobsen

Manatay Centro Salud

This clinic visit was led by a super dynamic group of four INMED volunteers.  The visit didn’t have all the hoopla of the previous clinic baby showers, but had a more serious tone which suited a more mature group of women, as well as the teenage moms.

The INMED volunteers presented a socio-drama or role-play illustrating the five danger signs of a problem pregnancy.  In the first scenario, the poor mother with multiple children doesn’t recognize one of the danger signs (vaginal bleeding) and gets to the clinic too late to save the baby or herself.  It was a sad ending, but great acting job by the volunteers.  The second scenario had a much better outcome.  It was presented as a “planned pregnancy” rather than an accident.  The mother recognizes the danger signs and gets to the clinic in time to save both the baby and herself.  These scenarios present a memorable way to educate women who are not literate in their own language or Spanish.

After the presentation, the DFW women handed out gift bags to the pregnant women and new moms.  This ritual gift giving provided us with a special moment with one of the mothers, where we kissed and took photos.  The clinic doctor said a few words of thanks to the DFW women, expressing their gratitude to the organization.

After the clinic visit, we were broken into small groups for door-to-door house visits led by the INMED volunteers. The purpose of the home visits is to check for sitting water that leads to dengue fever, the number 1 health problem in the area.  The volunteers point out instances of sitting water to the family, but also look for signs of domestic violence, sick children or pregnant women not registered at the clinic.  Upon leaving the house, the volunteer marks the door chalk with the date of the visit and a score for the dengue inspection.  Then they will check back in a couple months and compare the results.

San Jose Casa Materna located near the town of Yarinacocha.

This large facility has benefitted from DFW funding for a new birthing center with modern obstetric equipment, and hospital beds for the new Mom’s.   The afternoon “baby shower” was set up as a recruiting event for pregnant women.  INMED volunteers registered 24 new mothers.  Many women came with their other children and their husbands, who watched or sat outside talking and relaxing with the other men.

The shower was MC’d by Leit, the same young INMED intern we had met at Campo Verde. He got us all going with music and dancing and then led a role play with three DFW women and 3 pregnant women that made us all relax and laugh together.  He also reviewed the five warning signs of a problem pregnancy with the mom’s.  Then we all went outside to a grassy area and learned some yoga exercises suitable for pregnant women, such as the cat stretch.

As the shower wound down, the DFW women handed out the gift bags to pregnant women and new mothers as Leit announced their name and number of months pregnant.  As this was our last shower event, we put all the extra maternity and baby clothes on tables so they could pick out other items.

We felt very proud of our efforts over the past 3 days of clinic visits, and relieved to get rid of all the suitcases full of clothing and other items.  Thank you to all the DFW members who contributed to making these clinic visits such a success!