Today started a bit later than usual. I visited Sakarpur, Kansari, and Jalshan today.
I had mentioned earlier that Sakarpur is the village where many men die of Silicosis. We had a group of about 40 women gather for the presentation – many of whom were over the age of 40. We recommended that they all receive a mammography at the Center and a few women participated in examinations after the presentation but we didn’t find anything suspicious. It was Mother & Child Day at the PHC center so lots of mothers came with their children.
Next we visited Kansari, a village with a large Muslim community. This particular village is known for its kite-making business. It was also Mother & Child Day for vaccinations and other needs in this town. I was surprised at how many 17-18 year old young girls were there with their small babies. I suppose girls have always been married off at a young age in India, but I was still a bit surprised. A group of about 50 women ranging from young and older women gathered to hear my presentation. This community is incredibly poor so we were sure to emphasize the fact that the CCC will help women who do not have money for the mammography.
The final stop of the day was in Jalshan. We went to the PHC and stumbled upon a woman leading a session on how to have a daughter. Female infanticide is a huge problem in India and I thought it was great to see someone doing something about it. She suggested not doing a sonogram to find out the sex of the baby, which can often be incredibly important to mother-in-laws who want their daughter-in-laws to have a baby boy. She told them to stand up for their unborn child and not to let their in-laws give them trouble about it.
The PHC does a great job at providing information about so many different diseases, family planning, mother-child services, and women’s rights. However,
I’ve found that many of the village women are illiterate. Often times, I hand women my leaflet and they merely laugh and respond that it is of no use to them because they can’t read. I try to explain that once they sit through my presentation, the pictures will make sense and they will be able to understand despite not being able to read the Gujarati. I also encourage them to have someone help them read it. Additionally, I verbally explain how to do self-examinations and go over the 12 signs of breast cancer. I try my best to explain everything through my presentation and the video so that all the women leave with a solid understanding about breast cancer.
Unfortunately, the pictures from today somehow got lost or deleted. It was an excellent day filled with eye-opening experiences!