Dra. Mimi Maranan is another key player in Gota de Leche’s nutritional programs. Along with Gota’s staff and volunteers, Dra. Maranan is essential in implementing the foundation’s breast milk and brown rice program. This program is one of Gota’s most vital activities. Gota provides lactating mothers brown rice, which makes their breast milk more nutritious. Dra. Maranan is on top of the operations, checking the progress of beneficiaries, and ensuring their steady return to health.
Can you tell us about Gota de Leche’s breast milk and brown rice program?
Dra. Maranan: Gota de Leche’s focus is on fighting malnourishment in children.
We give lactating mothers brown rice to help them with their milk production. The results are okay. We also give them additional products that help the production of breast milk.
Can you tell us about your work and relationship with Gota? What challenges do you encounter while working with mothers?
I am assigned here (to the breast milk and brown rice program). There is another doctor who is assigned to children aged three years. You can see the challenges and differences between private and charitable practices. Some of our beneficiaries have difficulty following our advice.
How did you start working with Gota?
When I started working with Gota de Leche, I was also a resident pediatrician at a local hospital. Eventually, the hospital closed down, and Gota de Leche asked me to join their staff, and I was willing.
Do you work with other NGOs?
Apart from Gota, just private work. But lately, I’ve had the desire to help more – anything that needs to be done. Not just related to health.
Do your consultations with mother overlap with their personal challenges?
Working with our beneficiaries is different from private practice. In my private practice, I can easily tell my patients what they need, and what they need to do. In the case of our beneficiaries, they may not be financially capable to follow all our advice. We find ways to work around the individual needs of Gota’s patients. It is important that they stick to their nutritional program as much as possible.
Even with these challenges, do you see improvements in the conditions of your patients?
Yes, we see improvements. You can see some patients, they steadily gain weight, and are no longer malnourished.
What do you feel, as a professional and as a human being, helping these mothers and their children?
You get a feeling of fulfillment, especially when you see the improvements in the child’s health. You keeping giving, so it’s fulfilling to see the results.