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  • Writer's pictureAbby

Senegal day 6

We are in Sangalkam, Dakar.  The days with the clinics are exhausting. We have 3 makeshift exam rooms in a larger room that has air conditioning but it's not really working. Today is the busiest so far. It’s hot and you’re on your feet for several hours and the women just keep coming, which is a good thing. It means the word is getting out about Go Doc Go and their cervical cancer screenings. These women have  been waiting for hours. They were here before we were and we got here at 8:30am.  It’s now 2pm (we ended up finishing around 3pm and saw 95 women). I don’t know how these docs and midwives function after a day like today. As I write this one of the docs came over for a quick water break looking like she needed more than just a sip of water. At least I get a break when I need it. I wish I could help. There’s nothing I can do but watch. I’ve always liked watching the scene and being on the outskirts. I think that’s why I do photography. I’m a little protected from the world I photograph, but I’m feeling a little helpless at this point. Today though I did help at least one person. A midwife had to physically walk her in. She was so scared she needed to hold someone's hand. So I put the camera aside and held her hand. She almost broke it she was squeezing so tight out of fear, but she got through the exam and had no cancer. She was so relieved to have done it and be cleared. The look on her face when it was over was priceless. I’m glad I could help, even if it was just to hold one hand.

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