For the Romanian Angel Appeal Foundation, 26 is not just a number. In 2017 we have 26 years of medical and psychosocial activity in the interest of children and young people from vulnerable groups.
One of our soul projects has been running for 7 years in 26 localities in Romania and has led a mobile unit with dentists and dermatologists to HIV-positive children who thus have received specialized treatment, without being discriminated anymore, even in their home counties.
10 years later, in this hopelessly warm autumn, we are in the cabinet of the family doctor from Scăești village in Dolj county where visibly shy the first 26 children came to be consulted by ENT specialist, dr. Monica Dina from Craiova, who accepted to provide the consult for free for the booked children. She will come back tomorrow with us and we will work until we consume the sterile instruments package. The children come with their parents and they are curious and fearful at the first, but in the end we hear outside exhortations and giggles: “Go ahead mate, do not be a fool. It not hurts at all!”
Beyond the frequent respiratory virosis, the children were diagnosed with various chronic rhinits, otitis, adenoid vegetation etc. and these confirmations from the specialist have exempt their parents from taking their children to hospital in Craiova, because “From where should I get money madam?”…asked us a 28 years old mother who has 5 children aged 6 months to 8 years old.
Maybe it does not seem worth mentioning here a common medical maneuver like auricular wash, but it seems to make an instant difference. It was really impressive when a very excited twelve years old girl told her mother with the smile on her lips that she heard again after the doctor had made an extraction of the both ear wax plugs.
“I brought them too, because they never have the money to get to a specialist in Craiova and they always have a cold, because they sleep 7 in a room and give the flu to each other…” tell us Dr. Andreea Lungulescu, the doctor from in the village, who knows all of the details about each family. First of all, this is what we are talking about in our new project, organized by Romanian Angel Appeal with financial support from PAID SA. To give the chance of a medical consult for the children from families from disadvantaged rural communities without material opportunities. Dolj Public Health Directorate is a partner in this project and the family doctors from Scăești, Caraula, Lipova and Sadova are hopeful collaborators and they provide us their cabinets for the screening program carried out between October and December 2017.
We also look forward to the Scăești ophthalmic screening session when Dr. Andreea Nicolcescu – ophthalmologist in Craiova – will identify out of 52 programmed children, those with problems that require further investigation and correction treatment. We will take the children to the specialized exam at a clinic in Podari and then with the sponsor’s money we will acquire the glasses they need with. We leave the fruits and the chocolate to be Christmas gifts from others, because we set out to provide eyeglasses to the children this autumn.
And not just that, because while consulting and interventions are taking place in the cabinet, a part of the RAA team organized several meetings with pupils in grades V-VIII at the Scăști school and the in the Pătru Valley school. We kindly invited teachers to leave classes because they insisted to stay because they wanted to be sure that the kids will not make noise. Then we openly discuss with the children about health, hygiene, the adolescent body and the changes taking place in preadolescence and later, values and decision making. After that, in the break, at their wish we played Flower-flower, open to the sun! We met children who are eager to be seen and listened, to talk about subjects that are not related to the school or to ask questions without the fear of being argued or judged.
The children received Colgate gift packages: toothpaste, toothbrushes, flyers and tooth molds which were a good opportunity to discuss what we have to do to maintain adequate oral hygiene that allows us to have a healthy smile.
In November we will reach this project in Caraula, Lipovu, and in December in Sadova. We expect that in the schools we will meet many children willing to ask “awkward” questions or to find out more about how to keep themselves health. Regarding to medical cabinets we want to help the small patients to overcome the acute health problems that can affect quality of their lives and also the school performance.
After three days in this rural community in Dolj we are pleased to have been able to help. However we still have a question in our minds: How to organize a parenting information and training session? Of course, not for those parents who are going to work abroad, but for those who are present in the community, but unfortunately quite absent in the life of their little ones. We think about and we will come back.
Campaign of the Romanian Angel Appeal Foundation supported by PAID SA.