02 March 2010

Meeting at children ward

By SRI MARYANTI (updated Nov 26, 2009)

When I looked at them, I immediately asked why their face looks so old. Though the two women's age was not much different from mine. Even Mama Blandina's face looked as if she was fifties while in fact she was
 35 years old. There seemed to be a problem with these women. What I guessed was true, not long after talking with Ms. Blandina, her eyes became wet as soon as she told me her live. So it was with Mama Helena.

Holding her youngest child is two and a half years old,
Blandina Mafani told her story. In a relatively young age, she had given birth six times. And six times did he give birth without medical help. Even more sad, for most pregnant women from the Tulleng village in Lembur subdistrict in Alor have never checked the baby to a health center or clinic. Fortunately, there were traditional midwives in the village who could be asked during childbirth. So she did not know her baby's weight at birth. Thus she did not quite understand what normal and healthy child at birth.

Health center was far away. Midwives and health workers had never visited the house. But there were more problems. Her husband forbade her to go to the clinic for this. When her youngest child was seriously ill, he remained adamant not to take him to the hospital. After some neighbors forced her, she let his son suffering from malnutrition be taken to the clinic. It was the reason why the child ended in the ward because the health center was not able to serve him. She did not participate family planning because the husband prohibited her. Some people in