Our second day of training on Ukerewe began with what seemed like an insurmountable challenge: a torrential Tanzanian rainstorm coupled with an island-wide blackout. With no idea of how these events would affect patient or trainee turnout, we nevertheless arrived at Nansio District Hospital at 8:30a.m. to prepare our clinics. Contrary to our expectations, we found a long line of women waiting patiently for a chance to be screened. These women had braved the terrible weather and, in some cases, walked for miles to seek our services, and we knew we could not let them down. Our trainees, too, came right on time, eager to learn more and hone their skills.
Working without electricity initially seemed like a huge hurdle, as that meant we had to work without our electrically powered light sources. With the help of our trusty headlamps, however, we were able to start screening without any problems. By the time lunch had arrived, the storm had stopped, the power had returned, and we had screened 25 women.
After a quick break for some delicious food catered by a local vendor, we finished out the day with another round of screenings. Some of our trainees were so confident in their technique that they began coaching others in how to properly carry out “See and Treat”. Watching them progress through this training week is a truly rewarding experience!