»A Spoonful Of Food - A Spoonful Of Love« 17 February 2012

Marte Meo | Developmental psychology | Entwicklungspsychology | Haydom Lutheran Hospital

[Kristiansand, 1-2-2012] Rolf Rohde (Marte Meo, Kristiansand, Norway) wrote us:

»A Spoonful Of Food - A Spoonful Of Love«
Marte Meo in nursing of orphan infants at Haydom Lutheran Hospital in Tanzania.

Orphan infants in Mbulu and Hanang districts in Northern Tanzania spend their first months in life at the Child Care Unit (CCU) at Haydom Lutheran Hospital (HLH). These vulnerable children are fed and nursed, but get very little emotional and social support. Can Marte Meo offer nurses and assistants at CCU additional the support they need?
This question may become the start of a post doc project conducted by PhD, Marte Meo Therapist Kari Vik and Family Therapist, Marte Meo Licensed Supervisor, Rolf Rohde. We have directly borrowed (or stolen) the beautiful saying of Maria Aarts often used, when she’s analysing interaction on film. Looking step by step for contact moments Maria often says that a child needs »a spoonful of food and a spoonful of love«.
Visiting Haydom (Tanzania) it was clear that our work supplementary needed some knowledge regarding some conditions of cultural and social codes. What are the contents of love, attachment and developmental support in contextual circumstances as we observed them at CCU? So far we think there might be a good possibility of fruitful collaboration. We’re working in between on finding the right administrative routines and a local anchoring. As soon as a working model for this concept has been developed, we will decide the frequency in visiting Tanzania and decide on the duration of the project. So far the preliminary investigations gave us some rough notions; we work on the protocols and at the same time we also still ask a lot of questions, for instance like: Since 2009 orphan infants in the catchment area of HLH are nursed at a special CCU unit. In daily care the orphans get their basic needs such as rest, sleep, food and vaccinations. However, there is little time for the staff to provide the emotional and social support that these orphan infants need to become more resilient. If the Marte Meo Method could be offered to these child nurses and assistants at CCU, followed by research on the working mechanisms of such an intervention, it probably would be possible to make clear if this method can be useful in improving the relation between the nurses/assistants and the infants, and thus the Marte Meo Method might contributes to facilitating a vigorous mental health development as well as enhance the quality of attachment for the babies. Moreover, they will probably be more capable of establishing a secure attachment to their father and family of origin, when they are brought to them or other caretakers when they are dismissed from the CCU.
Therefore we want to examine the Marte Meo Method offered to child nurses and assistants at CCU in order to establish whether this method can be useful, and thus contribute in facilitating a vigorous mental health that can be administrated at a low threshold in the public health system. Furthermore, the results will be important in deciding whether there are any universal working mechanisms of the Marte Meo Method.

Photo: Children in the »street« of Haydom, Tanzanina,
Website: www.haydom.no/index.aspx

Further Information:
Kari Vik & Rolf Rohde
E-mail: rolf.rohde@sshf.no

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