Boots on the ground
Story and photography by Kasey Jackson
The crowd of curious onlookers grows deeper as the strangers descend upon the town of Belo Tsiribihina, Madagascar. Malagasy women, wrapped in brightly colored scarves known locally as lamba, line the wall of a simple concrete building, babies resting either on their hips or tied securely to their chest or back. Small children, most without shoes, stand looking wide-eyed at the visitors, who all are wearing the same color: blue. The area where they all have gathered is quite small, a dirt alley of sorts. The visitors, UNICEF staff and Kiwanis volunteers, have come to this spot to meet a young mother and her baby—to hear and see the success of MNT elimination efforts.
Smack dab in the middle of the swarming crowd is a young woman, clothed in a cream and brown dress suit, hair pulled back and secured tightly with a clip. She wears a simple gold cross around her neck and flat dress shoes. She smiles warmly at the women and the growing crowd of children. It’s likely she knows most, if not all, of their names. She is, after all, the town doctor.
Turn to the March 2014 issue of Kiwanis magazine, and join Dr. Victoria as she spends a day health and caring for the people of Belo Tsiribihina.
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