Medical professionals help promote good health

Early Intervention Department staff, from Gomel’s Central Children’s Polyclinic, among laureates of the 2011 Belarusian Presidential Award ‘For Spiritual Revival’

By Lidia Zemechanskaya

The polyclinic’s atmosphere of warm-heartedness is radiated by its staff. In one room, a physical rehabilitation doctor, Irina Polyakova, explains to young mother Yulia Bobkova how to look after two month old Ilyusha: how to put him to bed and react to his gestures. Initially, Irina used a doll to demonstrate but later took Ilya in her hands. The baby loved swinging on a large ball and soon fell asleep.

“Having a specialist’s advice is very important to me. They explain and demonstrate everything in the smallest detail,” smiles the young mother, who travels in from Gomel’s suburbs. Looking at the peacefully sleeping boy, Ms. Polyakova admits, “I love my job. It’s a true pleasure to deal with babies, helping them become healthy.”

Galina Shevko — who heads the department — is treating 15 year Masha, brought by her grandmother, Maria Grigorievna. Masha suffers from an incurable illness, so has been supervised by the polyclinic for many years. “Wonderful specialists work here. They are so kind, which is very important in our case,” says the elderly lady. “We understand that it’s impossible to cure our girl but qualified support from the department’s staff — rendered to both Masha and our family — helps us keep strong. I can call Ms. Shevko at any time as I know that she’ll give me her advice irrespective of where she is: in Minsk, Kiev, on a business trip or at studies. I’m happy that this team has been given the Presidential Award. They deserve it.”

Needless to say, the local specialists work hard, treating children not only from the Gomel Region but from the neighbouring territories of Russia and Ukraine. Disabled youngsters and low-birth-weight babies (some weighing just 950 grams) are sent to the fully-equipped clinic, served by highly qualified specialists (most studied abroad, learning from foreign experience of treating children’s illnesses).

“We don’t offer the usual polyclinic approach,” explains Ms. Shevko. “Also, we avoid a traditional, cliched style. To get to the heart of a problem, we often examine patients jointly — sometimes several times in complicated cases.”

Doctors’ success rate is rising in treating poorly youngsters and, where a cure is impossible, professional advice and kind words of sympathy can help. “We teach parents not simply to accept the situation but to learn how to make the best of it,” explains Ms. Shevko. “We know that hope springs eternal. Moreover, miracles do happen. We do everything possible to help these come true.”

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