Saturday, February 11, 2012

PeaceCare: Part I

So, the PeaceCare team arrived in Kédougou about a week and a half ago and was made up of doctors, residents, a med student, and a couple communications people. (One of the doctors is from Callahan, CA, near where I went to summer camp, it's where we pick up camp mail and stuff, but it's a town so small that GoogleMaps doesn't quite know where it is.) We started out in Kédougou, where we did a lot of meeting-and-greeting and then the American doctors lead a refresher course for the Senegalese trainers.

The next day the trainers lead a refresher course for health workers. 

Training tools:
Speculums, models, and dictionaries. 
Of course, this is Senegal, so there was a nation-wide gas strike, transport issues, long power outages, equipment problems, disruptions in Dakar related to the upcoming elections, and so on. After much rescheduling, re-rescheduling, and re-re-rescheduling the team made it to Saraya.

Saraya is about as far from Kédougou as Salémata, where I live, but Saraya is a magical Malinke wonderland of paved roads, sidewalks, post offices, pharmacies, fancy boutiques, and vegetable ladies. (There's also a water shortage and since it's becoming a trucking route to/from Bamako there are also more semi trucks and HIV.)

The Saraya Health Center is the regional hub for the Saraya Health District, and we went out in teams to facilitate cervical cancer screening days in villages around Saraya. I went out to Bambadji, and it was really interesting trying to get around a village where pretty much no one speaks Pulaar, just Malinke. A lot of women came to get screened, which was great, and I bought a little bag of Youpis (like Chupa Chups) to give to their little kids while they waited. (It's hard for a kid to wail and eat candy at the same time.) Everyone was really nice (I'm assuming, if they were insulting me they were smiling while they did it) and I had some fun pantomimed conversations about lollipops. 

Back in Saraya, the hospital staff kept us very well fed, and also had an entire big freezer just for juice - red bissap, white baobab, green ditakh, yellow ginger, orange Foster Clark's... I really can't overemphasize how pleased I was with the rainbow of juices. 

Back to Kédougou

1 comment:

  1. A doctor from Callahan! Is that even possible??
    Hope you are doing wonderfully! Great to read your stories. We miss you over here. XXOO


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