Thursday, July 27, 2006

Baby Clinic

Today I went with Marceline and Naomi to the baby clinic for Naomi to have her first immunisations. She was having her BCG and polio. I was intrigued to go as it is also my first visit to a health care setting.

To say it was
organised chaos would be an understatment. Well that's the way it appeared to me. We arrived and registered and sat on benches along with what must have been over 50 women and their babies. Babies of all ages having various jabs or just coming for a weight. There was of course lots of noise and lots of breast feeding everywhere I looked the well dressed African women were delving in to their tops trying to keep their babies quite. All the women were very well dressed in lovely traditional African outfits or more modern outfits. High heels, matching handbags and head dresses. I felt very out of place in my cord trousers, jumper and trainers.

We were given a number, 37. Although this did not seem to mean much I never heard any numbers being called. Once all the women where registered and sat on the benches the rather tradtionally built nurse started singing and all the mothers join in. It goes a something like this. 'I will bring my baby to clinic every month, this is how to keep my baby well.' Then a talk was given on what jabs are given at what age etc.

Then in some random order mothers took their babies up for their jabs and the room of course is filled with screams. We had to wait as there was only one vial of BCG and its expensive. One vial does 20 immunisations so we had to wait until 20 babies under one month had arrived. I of course was loving this sooooo many cute babies to coo at (I do not think Joe will let me go again). After about 1 hour or so they decided there were enough babies to proceed. Little Naomi was so brave and barely cried. Once she was done we could go. Not without our little (unmarked, tut tut) packet of aspirin tablets. They give these to each mother after the immunisation to stop the baby getting a fever. Not too sure what that's all about, not to sure how a baby takes tablets either but I am sure Marceline will manage.


Clare said...

Sounds a bit like the baby clinic in Kenilworth. Mothers do their own baby's weights, and queue out the door to use the machines. Lots of baby screaming, and only 2 midwives...

Interesting that the BCG is given at such a young age, the immature immune system having to take on so much!

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