Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ultrasound Clinic

Today some volunteers went to the ultrasound clinic to volunteer. The clinic was fairly slow today, but the volunteers had more time to interact with the doctor who runs the clinic. They learned about the health care system in India, which they explain is quite different from their home countries. For example, as you walk into the clinic, you will see a list of the different procedures available at the clinic, with a price associated with each procedure listed. This list of costs is extremely common in hospitals and doctor's offices in India. There are also government-run hospitals, however, the volunteers have not visited those hospitals. The volunteers also asked the doctor about the frequency of cases where women are unmarried and pregnant: The doctor explained that she has seen such cases, but it is very uncommon to see these cases in India. About once a month or so the doctor will have such a case in her clinic. She explained that raising a child without a husband is not possible in this city in India, and usually the women will have an abortion, if they are unable to find a way to quickly have a wedding. The volunteers understood the complexity of the situation, as they have been living within Indian culture for some time, even though it breaks their hearts to hear the sad truth about the matter. Usually though, at the clinic, the volunteers describe the wonderful experience of seeing an expecting mother having her first ultrasound ever, as she sees the different parts of the baby, hears the baby's pulse. The volunteers feel very lucky that they are able to have such a great opportunity for volunteering while with AIm Abroad!

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