There is clear evidence that the health and hygiene of mothers and babies has improved amongst the groups who have received the baby kits and the health training through this program.
For many of the displaced communities there are no shops nearby and so mothers would tear up old sarongs to swaddle their babies. Having soap for washing and soft cloth for swaddling the baby has made so much difference. The women become accustomed to better hygiene and collaborate with other villagers more regularly.
Due to the isolation and restrictions in infrastructure development caused by many years of military rule and conflict, these communities suffer from a lack of communication and education about common health issues. Most Karen knowledge (lore) is beneficial to an individual’s health but there are some harmful traditional practices. This is mostly related to nutrition and the best nutrients for new mothers and their babies.These beliefs are addressed in the training sessions and, as participants see the results of the teaching, we see the positive impact of the program.
The fact that the community workers are visiting them makes an impact in itself. As one mother said: “Even if we received only a piece of cloth and a bar of soap, I feel so happy and I feel like somebody cares for me and is willing to help me, even to go through all the obstacles to get to me. So I felt very encouraged."
Those obstacles are tremendous and we celebrate the bravery and determination of the community workers.
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