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A mother’s pain…

Posted in: Blog, by Rachel Purdy, on 5th December 2014 | Comments Off on A mother’s pain…

MektridaMektrida: Mother of three, wife, cook, cleaner, firewood gatherer, collector of water, farmer.

 

 

 

Debora 1Deborah: Mother of five, wife, cook, cleaner, firewood gatherer, collector of water farmer, local trader.

 

 

 

Mariam 3Mariam: Mother of six, widower, cook, cleaner, firewood gatherer, collector of water, farmer.

 

 

 

20140912_095123Metodia: Mother of seven, wife, cook, cleaner, firewood gatherer, collector of water, farmer.

 

 

 

 

 

The list of roles and responsibilities goes on…educator, market seller, carer of elderly…

As well as their extensive list of roles and responsibilities, the above four women have several other things in common;

  • Mektrida: three months in dental pain, unable to work and is only able to eat porridge because of the pain.
  • Deborah: three months in dental pain, unable to work and has not eaten for 3 days due to the pain.
  • Mariam: one year in dental pain, unable to work and has a reduced food intake due to the pain.
  • Metodia:  five years in dental pain, unable to work and eats only porridge, due to pain.

All four women, suffering in pain because there was no safe dental care available to them locally, at a cost they could afford.

Four women in pain means 21 children and three husbands  may miss out on decent food to eat and water to drink because their wife/mother is unable to cook. 21 children who may now have to miss school, stay at home and do housework because their mother is unable to do jobs around the house.  Three husbands who might have to take time away from earning an income or farming to help at home with the children which again might mean that the family cannot afford to attend school or even eat.

Some 62% of patients attending dental training programmes are female. When asked, the majority of women refer to their livelihood as ‘farming’ however women in Tanzania traditionally have additional huge responsibilities within the household. When these women are disabled by dental pain, the consequences not only impact upon food provision and therefore their families’ nutrition, but also affects their ability to care for their children, collect water, firewood, clean the house, prepare food, go to market – all of the other domestic chores that are traditionally done by the women of the household.  This is why access to safe emergency dental care in the rural areas is vital so that the health, nutrition, education and livelihoods of women like Metodia, Deborah, Mariam and Mektrida AND their large dependent families are not impacted by dental pain.


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