Ohoud Dahouk gave birth to a beautiful, healthy girl last month. The mother of two calls her doctor an angel for helping her bear the pain of a difficult delivery.
And that care and assistance doesn’t stop with the birth. Ohoud and her baby Mariya continue to get help from Near East Council of Churches (NECC) field health workers who provide postpartum checkups at home and at the clinic.
Many new mothers in Gaza lack the basic baby supplies needed to keep their infants safe and healthy. Medical workers blame that on a lack of funds and also inadequate hygiene awareness. Anera has organized mother and child health awareness sessions to help new mothers to learn cope and to offer some help with starter kits including necessary supplies.
In Ohoud’s case, the financial burden made it impossible for her to get things like soap and diapers. After she finished her awareness course with her health worker Riham Abu Hassan, Ohoud received one of Anera’s newborn hygiene kits that contain shampoo for mother and baby, diapers and sanitary pads.
The ability to have these items at childbirth can offer hope for a healthy future for our newborns.
“I was surprised by the gift,” says Ohoud. “It is not common to get something of such value.”
Anera baby hygiene kits provide new moms with health care items necessary to properly care for their children, especially impoverished families who cannot afford basic supplies. “The ability to have these items at childbirth can offer hope for a healthy future for our newborns,” says health worker Riham.
Thanks to Anera’s grant, NECC clinic was able to deliver 2,400 hygiene kits at three of its locations and to organize awareness sessions to promote good hygiene and tips for proper infant care.
In Gaza, children from low-income families and those who live in communities with poor sanitation systems are at high risk of infections that can affect their growth and well-being. With just $14 per kit, Anera is able to provide a starter supply of health care items to help protect infants from contracting infections and deal with other health issues.
New Early Screening Equipment at Gaza Clinic
The NECC clinic also provides a range of health care services, including pre-postnatal, family planning and reproductive education for many women residing in the Al-Daraj neighborhood. Anera’s grant also allowed the clinic to buy new equipment, including an ultrasound, blood pressure apparatus, baby scales and child breathing devices.
The equipment is vital to monitoring the health of expectant and new mothers and their infants. In Gaza, pregnant women are at risk because of an inadequate diet and frequent pregnancies. “We test blood count and pressure in every patient to monitor her and her baby’s health throughout the pregnancy cycle,” says Dr. Riham Abu Khater.
Thanks to the ultrasound equipment from Anera, she says it is much easier to monitor the development of the fetus and help doctors detect any abnormalities earlier.
Saja Eldremly, in her ninth month, welcomes the more thorough tests and screenings. After getting assurances from the doctor that everything is as it should be, Saja says her next visit will most likely be for the birth of her baby. She is a bit anxious but then she smiles when she remembers she’ll have the hygiene kit and the nurses’ advice to help her take proper care of her newborn.