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SCHOOLS for MOTHERS

cs SCHOOLS pyr Monday afternoon, in the Oul-Patients’ Departnentof the Nicosia General Hospital, you can see a long line of prams. Some of them are new, their chromium plate dazzling in the sun, their ribbon- edged blankets spotlessly pink -— or blue. Some of them are rickety old push chairs, their paint worn off, their springs long since collapsed under a succession of bouncing brothers and sisters. Go to Morphou on a Thursday, ‘to Polis or Lythrodhonda on alternate ‘Tuesdays and you will see a similar pro- cession of prams... Cyprus’s Infant Welfare Centres are in session. Infant Welfare Centres is a paratively new name for them. com- When ———STORY AND PICTURES a : Ree ο λα... Έθνη, Mets _ MEDICAL AND HEALTH DEPARTMENT. Crexes : ACRE . ¥ INFANT WELFARE CENIRE Juda uo. ο ATTENDANCE CARD pemire il ibere aay infections Gene & Wee howe: 1. SEATION NAPOYZIAZ- '¥ neve exten al άρα is κε θελα νὰ μρανέρχώννδε αἲς οὐ whe TEA ἐν Rede gh BE Te RE ἕω» Μδιωφμα αλ beg: MEVCUT KARTE _Aeetmomnelert iter ohenae, ae for M @ Thirteen new Infant Welfare year, Klecen of them were in Lefkonico and Famagusta. Nearly 50 of these centres, most o fice years, are babies a week. they were first opened in England a good many years ago they were known as «Schools for Mothers». And that is really what they are: centres of education where mothers can be taught how to bring up their children healthily, how to prevent the ever-lurking sickneszes that in the past took such grievous toll of young lives. It is only a few years ago since 120 out of every 1,000 children born in Cyprus died before they reached their first birth: BY ROY PFPENTON——— =_ZOlOk Thursday afternoon at Morphou and twenty or thirty mothers arrive with their babies for the weekly session of the Infant Welfare Centre. The children will be weighed and, if necessary, examined by the doctor. OTHERS Centres were opened in Cyprus last the Paphos district and the other two in { which hare sprung up in the past now in existence attendances areraye several hundred day. “Today we've cut that figure to 70. It is still too high, much too high, but the more Schools for Mothers we can establish and — this is the point — the more we can encourage mothers to make use of them, the easier it will be for us to reduce that fearful wastage. * © & NFANT Welfare Centres have been established in Cyprus only in com- paratively recent years. There are now nearly 50 of them — approxinately one for every 9,000 people. This is by no means a necligible pro- Portion. Britain has about 5,000 centres, or one for everv 10,000 people. The ones in Britain, however, are more compre- hensive in their scope and with much bigger staffs than those in Cyprus. And they hold sessions every day and not Just once a week or once a fortnight. Nevertheless, the Cyprus centres are doing sterling work under many difficul- ties, not the least of which are the lack of suitable premises and the shortage of expert staff. Dr. Chr. C. Joannides, who js respon. sible, under the Director of Medical and Health Services, for the organisation of infant welfare facilities in the island, re- cently explained to us how the centres work, «As soon as a new baby is registered», he said, «we give it a record card. On this is a miniature history of the family— housing conditions, the state of health of the parents. the number of children, «Every visit to the centre is recorded on this card. to- gether with the baby’s VER Nearly | twice * as}| many babies now_go ‘regularly to the Morphou Centre SCHOOLS for MOTHERS These pictures were taken at the Morphou Infant Welfare Centre where attendances so far this year total nearly twice as many as in the same period of 1949. Above left: Mrs. Loulla Charalambous with daughter Pana- yiota, who is nine months old. Panayiota was first taken to the centre at the age of two months, has been 16 times since. Below left: Panayiota is vaccinated against smallpox. Babies are also inoculated free of charge against typhoid and diphtheria. Above right: Doctor G. M. Kozakos, who is in charge of the centre, greets Mrs. Chirodontis and five-month-old Kokeos. The centre is proud of Kokos who hasn't had a day's serious illness and already weighs 16 lbs., 12 ozs. Below right: Dr. Kozakos congratulates Mrs. Panayiota Charalambous on ten-month-old dgathoulla who first attended the centre at the age of two months and who, like Kokos, has escaped any serious illness. weight, details of any ailments and the treatment prescribed, and advice on feed- ing. «Weighing, which is done by the nurse in charge, is an important indication of the baby’s progress. Any marked deviation from normal — and the record card gives us an instant check — is a warning signal. «After weighing, the mother sees the doctor who, while he examines the baby, encourages her to talk. «A mother, especially if it is her first baby, needs someone to confide in, some- one to whom she can tell her little fears and worries. And who better than a doctor who has had experience with hundreds of children? «We try to encourage mothers to bring their babies from the start, before they have had time to acquire bad habits that may be difficult to break. And we try to give them confidence. «The mother of a first baby is eager to learn a mother who has had many children already is apt to think she krows everything and it is difficult to reach her new methods —- what was good enough for her first babv. she thinks, is good enough for her fourth or fifth. «But, on the whole, the mothers co- operate well like mothers everywhere, they will go a long way to do anything that helps their children. «Weighing and regular examinations are only a part of the work of the centres. Just as important is it to educate the mother on the right lines, to give her advice on hygiene, with special regard to the conditions under which she lives. te see that she appreciates the regularity of feedine and knows the kind of food το give. Se The success of the Welfare Centre at Lefhonico is in large part due to the active support given by the Mayor, Mr. Lukas Gregoriou, pictured (left) with Dr. Christos Michalopoulos, the medical officer in charge. A number of poor mothers have been supplied with free miik by Mr. Gregoriou and his fellow councillors. Sophia Methodiou Economou, a private midwife, whe encourages mothers to attend | the Lefkonico centre and often takes the ¥ babies there herself, has to leave on a Saeed, 7 sudden call to a case at Platani. This group of Lefkonico mothers includes one (in foreground) with tt sins. more liable to take sick than one that spends several hours a day out of doors. SCHOOLS for MOTHERS : . «ln most of the centres —- soon, we «We warn her of smallpox, diphtheria hope, it will be all—only healthy children and typhoid and offer to vaccinate and are permitted to attend there are separate inoculate her baby. Some mothers areff sessions for those who are sick. naturally, suspicious of all these ‘jabs’ j the doctor, by friendly discussion, tries to overcome her prejudices. - «Our aim, you see, the aim of all intant welfare work, is prevention, not cure —- to make sure as far as lies within our «One of the things we always do is to POWer th — healthy babies remain healthy. emphasise the importance of tresh air.