Nokhanyile Dalingxolo, Mentor Mother:
When you think about being a Mentor Mother – what is the one word that describes how you feel about it?
Extremely happy, as a child I have always wanted to become a nurse and when I became a Mentor Mother, I felt that God knew better than me and had other plans for me.
What is the most important piece of equipment you carry with you in your backpack?
As a Mentor Mother the most important tool that I carry in my backpack is the scale, with just the scale you can do both growth monitoring of the growing child and the monitoring of the foetus of the pregnant mother. During this COVID-19 pandemic, the thermometer is the most important tool I use to do screening of temperature so that I can be safe during this time.
What is the most important thing you have learned as a Mentor Mother?
As a Mentor Mother, I have learnt confidentiality and good communication skills, I can now communicate better, even with my children.
What is your proudest moment as a Mentor Mother?
Everyday of my work is a proud moment, I wake up knowing that I will meet a family and make a change in that family.
What has surprised you about being a Mentor Mother?
I was surprised by the trust people put into me, they have so much faith in us as Mentor Mothers.
What is the biggest change you have seen in your community since becoming a Mentor Mother?
Since I have been a Mentor Mother, I have seen a big change in women who have opted for breastfeeding and chronic treatment adherence.
What do you enjoy speaking to your clients about and why?
I enjoy speaking about exclusive breastfeeding, as many women are facing unemployment, breastfeeding is affordable.
What do you do when a client isn’t following your advice?
When my clients are not following my advice, I always give them opportunity to reason with me then I will involve my Supervisor.
If you could ask for one thing that would assist you in your job during the COVID pandemic, what would it be?
Infrared contactless thermometers will help us to check high temperatures after the telephonic screening and prior to the home visit.
What is the biggest impact COVID has had in your community thus far?
People have lost and continue to lose jobs; health facilities are not fully operational as they need to adhere to COVID-19 regulations.
How has COVID-19 made your job harder?
Due to COVID-19, I do telephonic screening for all my visits, a day before or in the morning. Referrals take time to be attended at the clinic. SASSA and Home Affairs are not fully operational; they can only attend to a limited number of cases at a time.
How many mothers and children do you look after in a year?
The number of mothers and children I see is 97 combined.