From the Field: Voice of AMDA Nurse in Bodhgaya
I am qualified nurse from Gaya district in the state of Bihar, India. Bihar in many ways rich in resources but somehow prevails as one of the poorest states of India. I am working at the Mother and Child care center at AMDA Peace Clinic (APC) in Bodhgaya since October 2014. Currently we provide all kind of necessary information for mother and child healthcare. I advise women on how to take care of a child, how to take care during pregnancy and encourage personal health and hygiene. We started our work with the village of Piparpati that is adjacent to APC. The village was created with a "Donation of 500 Houses" by the Sri Lankan government in the late 1970s. Each house (compact in size) has two rooms and a living area. Since then the conditions of the houses and surrounding areas has been so badly deteriorated and the living conditions are bare minimum.
As part of my daily routine, one day I went to the village and entered a house. In that house, there was a young lady and she share the house with her husband, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law and his wife and their two children. This young lady is from a neighboring village and she married her husband last year and moved into her husbands following the long tradition of rural India.
When I saw her first time, she was very reserved and almost 8 months into her first pregnancy and weighing only about 35kg. As usual I registered all vital information about her and started visiting her regularly. Soon she became a good friend and started opening up for me.
Gradually there came the time for her delivery and she delivered a weak looking baby girl weighing about 2.5kg on the 20th of November 2014. After the delivery she came back to her husband`s house and continue to suffer a lot from anemia and from ill health.
On the 20th of December 2014, her father took his daughter to her birthplace for treatment purpose. No one knows what really happened but the next time she came to her husband's house there was no life in her, just the body. Later, I found out that one of the main reason for her ill health and weakness during pregnancy and her demise was due to her being a T.B. patient. The husband family did not know about her condition until after her death.
Yet, out of this sad story came a beautiful little baby girl, and taken care by the matriarch of the family - the mother of her husband.
The baby seems to be doing OK but lost about 500g weighing 2kg during her 1st month. I continue to give them good advice on baby care. My advice to keep the baby at the hospital under constant care, was not accepted by the family due to their believes and customs.
Finally, they named the baby "Priya" meaning "Love". Priya is under the constant care of her father and grandmother. Priya is fed with cow milk and time-to-time comforted by her aunt. From AMDA peace clinic we gave a mosquito net, baby kit and baby cloths for Priya. I really hope Priya receives all the love she deserves and grow up to be a healthy and clever girl with the blessing of her mother above.