Day 3 of baseline started out differently than the past two days. Instead of heading directly to a village to survey, we went to the Svay Antor Health Center to watch the first day of our blood collection. This part of the project is significant because it will provide us with quantifiable data (in the form of biochemical analyses) that will show whether or not our interventions have had the desired impact. I will write a special post about the more technical aspects of this process in a few days.
Several mothers and their children were waiting patiently at 7:30 am for us to set up. The village health volunteers were also there to make sure that everyone was accounted for, and to go back to their village to pick up women who hadn’t made it to the health center yet. There were a lot of familiar faces, as the women who were having their blood drawn today were women we have interviewed over the past two days.
A special team from the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) came to collect and process the blood samples. They were extremely efficient, so the morning went by quickly. The only troubleshooting that had to be done was tracking down the right kind of tubes for one of the samples. Thankfully the problem was solved quickly.
This afternoon we went to a new village to watch more surveys, 24 hour recalls, anthropometric measurements and hemoglobin analyses. My favourite place to sit is with the anthropometrists and blood analysts. They are usually set up at the village chief’s house (or the village health volunteer’s house), and every mother and child that is part of our study has to come over to have their measurements taken and their fingers pricked. Usually news of our arrival spreads throughout the whole village, and a lot of children come just to see the foreigners. This afternoon went according to plan, so I don’t have many stories. I do, however, have a lot of pictures that I will be sharing soon.