Current IUBAT Volunteer Shares Her Experiences



Nancy Stephens, a Canadian volunteer currently at IUBAT, writes about her experience with the students in the CWCH (Centre for Women and Child Health) practicum setting. “Last week, one of our male Nepalese students was working in the paediatric ward and had done some health teaching about breastfeeding [with my help] to a young mother of a pre-term infant. This teaching was a bit out of his comfort zone and definitely outside of the cultural norm for a male to talk about “breasts” to a female. However, because he acted confident and was matter-of-fact about the subject, the information we had to offer was well accepted by this young mother. The following week he was working in a very busy immunization clinic where the students do a lot of health teaching. There are various health, maternity and nutrition topics that they cover. In our post-conference he reported that many women were very receptive to his teaching about breastfeeding, especially the concept of supply and demand. He also said that one woman asked him if he could tell her when her due date was (many of these women do not obtain any antenatal care so they do not necessarily know when they are due). Since the students had recently learned how to calculate the due date he told her he would help her figure it out. It surprised him that this woman was comfortable giving him that information and I can see that it has boosted his self-confidence. He is very approachable because he has such a gentle soul, and I am glad that he is willing to push the boundaries of what is culturally acceptable in this country. It is one of those small steps forward, and I am thrilled to be a part of it all.”


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