Sri Lanka

Real Medicine Foundation Celebrates Three Years at Yayawatta Village

November 20, 2009

Minerva Fernando

On November 7th, 2009 Real Medicine Foundation celebrated our third year providing free primary health care to the tsunami affected fishing communities of Tangalle.

The celebration provided us with the ideal opportunity to highlight our Maternal and Child Health outreach education programs. Joining RMF's Dr. Chamal Sanjeewa in the discussion was Tangalle's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Chamila. Together they provided a very simple yet comprehensive discussion on Maternal and Child Health to the forty-two women who participated. All of the mothers from the villages of Yayawatta, Kadurupokuna, Palapotha, Seenimodara & Moreketi-Ara, and those expecting, were invited to attend the education program.

Highlights of the discussion included

1) The importance of physical and mental health and well for the expectant mothers:

a. Maintaining a clean and health environment

b. A Healthy Diet

c. Proper medical care when needed

d. Maintaining a peaceful environment and

e. Having moments of calmness and quiet to relax

2) Nutrition for the mothers and their children:

a. In addition to reviewing healthy sources of Protein, Carbohydrate, Minerals, Vitamins and Fats, proper methods of meal preparation to retain the nutrients of the foods were emphasized. This was of particular importance because each mother had different methods for preparing meals and each has some misconceptions of what comprised a "healthy" diet.

b. Feeding schedules as well as discussions about taking "fast" foods or unhealthy snacks were also a major focus of the nutrition lecture. A predominantly whole food, plant based diet was recommended.

3) Proper Feeding:

a. Breast Feeding. Time duration.

b. Starting the Cereal food to the Baby

c. Meal Scheduling

4) Family Planning*:

a. Family planning allows individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their births.

b. A woman's ability to space and limit her pregnancies has a direct impact on her health and well-being as well as on the outcome of each pregnancy.

* (WHO guidelines)

RMF's Dr. Chamal concluded the session by encouraging the mothers to be more vigilant in their care of their children and emphasizing the importance of both physical and emotional health to their development. On behalf of Real Medicine Foundation he thanked Dr. Chamila and the Tangalle Health Department for collaborating on our Maternal Child Health outreach program and for joining us to celebrate three years of service to the community. After the lecture, they distributed the food parcels to the participants that were prepared by Real Medicine's staff, Mrs. Dimuthu Shiromani, Mrs. Samnthie Priyadarshani . Also in attendance were RMF Accountant, Mr. Nishantha Sandakelum and Project Coordinator, Mrs. Minerva Fernando.

Country Page: Sri Lanka Initiative Page: Primary Care Clinic Yayawatta