Our Community Based Rehabilitation team in Iraq comes across many clients who have hip dysplasia and many of them are at an age where they are no longer candidates for corrective surgery. For this reason, we educate pregnant women and women with new-borns in camps in the physician-recommended swaddling technique for their babies. The way an infant is swaddled can either prevent or worsen hip dysplasia in children so this intervention is vital for future well-being of these babies.
One Sunday, our Operation Mercy staff was visiting mothers in their homes and started with a lady, Sharyan*, who was very enthusiastic from the training. As soon as we arrived, she told us to wait a few minutes because she wanted all of her neighbours to also hear what we had to say. One by one women started trickling in to Sharyan’s living space. Soon the room became so full, Sharyan had to stand by the door! All the women were attentive and wanted to hear more about swaddling, even those who were not yet married, or those who have older children. What fun it was to have this spontaneous training session in Sharyan’s living room! Children were also playing with the training dolls as other questions regarding babies and breastfeeding were being asked. Our Operation Mercy staff stayed with Sharyan and her neighbours all afternoon. We then visited Sharyan’s neighbours in their own homes in the weeks that followed as well. One new relationship opened up our training to so many more people with just a single visit!*Name changed