New children at NPH go through a series of comprehensive medical checkups. Follow the story of one young boy as he enters NPH. March 12, 2019 - Mexico
Fabián speaks with the doctor upon arrival to NPH.
When children of any age arrive at NPH Mexico, they undergo a series of medical checkups in order to detect and treat any kind of existing health disorder or complication. Most of the children come from very poor environments. It is common to find signs of malnourishment, anemia, and gastrointestinal conditions.
A digital medical file is created for every child and young adult, which includes family history and the results of basic health tests—blood chemistry, HIV test, Hep C test, blood type and Rh, urine screening, stool ova, parasite exam, and platelet count. A physical examination is performed, including measuring blood pressure and pulse.
Upon arrival to NPH, we review the vaccination record of new children. Mexican health authorities issue a vaccination notebook when a child is born. This immunization panel is standard in Mexico and applies to everyone in the country, with varying specifications according to age and gender. Each vaccination record is checked and NPH administers the remaining vaccinations for every child.
We receive some required vaccine doses as a donation from local health authorities or private hospitals, and we purchase some of the others. At NPH, we offer our children HEP B, Rotavirus, Pentavalent (tetanus, whooping cough, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, influenza b), MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), HPV for kids over age 13, and influenza reinforcements. These vaccines are mandatory for every child and are administered on specific schedules according to age.
When Fabián came to NPH in 2014, he was nine years old. His mother had passed away two years earlier and his father was unable to support him and his sisters. A medical record was created and he had a physical examination. Among other medical complications, our doctors observed his speech abilities were impaired. He had a cleft palate.
Immediately, our doctors arranged a consultation with the pediatrics department at renowned ABC Medical Center in Mexico City. NPH Mexico has an agreement with this first-class hospital through which they offer a number of free consultations each year for our children and youth. Also, the hospital provides a number of free surgical procedures for our children each year. From pediatrics department, he was taken to the cleft palate and lip specialty department to evaluate the possibility of surgery.
This interdisciplinary medical group decided to intervene surgically, performing the repair of the cleft palate, as well as correcting other complicating medical factors present at the time. Surgeons performed the procedure without any complications and Fabián received speech therapy and rehabilitation for some time. He is now able to speak without any struggle!
In the beginning, this was an emotional and complicated process for Fabián, because his classmates made fun of him when he spoke. With surgery, rehab, and therapy, he has now gained confidence and self-assurance by improving his communication skills.
“I felt bad because I could not speak well and my classmates did not understand me,” says Fabián. He sees many positive changes in his life. Now he interacts with his peers normally and feels free. “I feel grateful because the doctors and nurses were very nice. And I feel great because I can already speak much better!”
Fabián likes living at NPH, “I like everything about the house. I like what I do, but my best moments are during Christmas season because there are many posadas (a traditional re-enactment of the Biblical story of Mary and Joseph looking for a place to stay) and I enjoy hanging around with my friends.”
Being at NPH really made a difference in Fabián’s life. When he and his siblings arrived at NPH, they had not been attending school because their father took them to work with him. Other times, they would be left alone or could be found on the streets. Finally, a representative of DIF (the National System for Integral Family Development, the federal childcare authority) spoke with the family’s father and he agreed to take the children to NPH.
Fabián found a home, friends, education, loving care, and, most of all, health. Now he can develop as a normal child. In time, his self-worth and confidence will improve, giving him the opportunity to flourish that every child should have.
Children’s names have been changed to protect their privacy.
Alicia Balderrama Translator
You may be only one person in the world, but you may be all the world to one child.
—Fr. William Wasson